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© 2018 Oya~Pathfinding for Human & Organizational Development, LLC

This website is NOT intended to replace or be a substitute for counselling. It may play a role in helping you prepare for counselling , reaching out for help, or answer some questions you may have about various issues, concerns, or behaviors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Did you know?

The Academy for Eating Disorders reminds us:

"Eating disorders can have a profoundly negative impact on an individual's quality of life. Self-image, interpersonal relationships, financial status, and job performance are often negatively affected. The extent to which these problems are an inherent part of the disorders or are secondary to it is unclear. The range of the negative effects does, however, highlight the critical importance of treatment."

The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness reports:

  • Eating disorders can affect people of all ages, genders, socioeconomic statuses, shapes and sizes, sexual orientations, races and ethnicities can suffer from an eating disorder.

  • Over 30 million Americans experience a clinically significant eating disorder during their lifetime.

  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, with nearly 1 person dying every hour as a direct result of their eating disorder.

  • 13% of women over the age of 50 have symptoms of an eating disorder.

  • Only about one third of people ever receive treatment for their eating disorder.

  • Full recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Early detection and intervention are important.

  • Help is available and recovery is possible.

1.

What is Anorexia?

"Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by weight loss (or lack of appropriate weight gain in growing children); difficulties maintaining an appropriate body weight for height, age, and stature; and, in many individuals, distorted body image. People with anorexia generally restrict the number of calories and the types of food they eat. Some people with the disorder also exercise compulsively, purge via vomiting and laxatives, and/or binge eat. Anorexia can affect people of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, races, and ethnicities. Historians and psychologists have found evidence of people displaying symptoms of anorexia for hundreds or thousands of years. Although the disorder most frequently begins during adolescence, an increasing number of children and older adults are also being diagnosed with anorexia. You cannot tell if a person is struggling with anorexia by looking at them. A person does not need to be emaciated or underweight to be struggling. Studies have found that larger-bodied individuals can also have anorexia, although they may be less likely to be diagnosed due to cultural prejudice against fat and obesity."

Excerpt: Emotional and Behavioral Warning Signs

  • Dramatic weight loss

  • Dresses in layers to hide weight loss or stay warm

  • Is preoccupied with weight, food, calories, fat grams, and dieting

  • Refuses to eat certain foods, progressing to restrictions against whole categories of food (e.g., no carbohydrates, etc.)

  • Makes frequent comments about feeling “fat” or overweight despite weight loss

  • Complains of constipation, abdominal pain, cold intolerance, lethargy, and/or excess energy

  • Denies feeling hungry

  • Develops food rituals (e.g., eating foods in certain orders, excessive chewing, rearranging food on a plate)

Source: National Eating Disorder Association.

For more information click on the above link.

2.

What is Bulimia?

 

"Bulimia nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by a cycle of bingeing and compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting designed to undo or compensate for the effects of binge eating..”

 

Excerpt: Bulimia Nervosa Warning Signs

  • In general, behaviors and attitudes indicate that weight loss, dieting, and control of food are becoming primary concerns 

  • Evidence of binge eating, including disappearance of large amounts of food in short periods of time or lots of empty wrappers and containers indicating consumption of large amounts of food  

  • Evidence of purging behaviors, including frequent trips to the bathroom after meals, signs and/or smells of vomiting, presence of wrappers or packages of laxatives or diuretics 

  • Appears uncomfortable eating around others 

  • Develops food rituals (e.g. eats only a particular food or food group [e.g. condiments], excessive chewing, doesn’t allow foods to touch) 

  • Skips meals or takes small portions of food at regular meals 

  • Disappears after eating, often to the bathroom

  • Steals or hoards food in strange places  

  • Drinks excessive amounts of water or non-caloric beverages  

  • Uses excessive amounts of mouthwash, mints, and gum 

 

Source: National Eating Disorder Association.

For more information click on the above link.

3.

What is Binge Eating Disorder (BED)?

"Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a severe, life-threatening, and treatable eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food (often very quickly and to the point of discomfort); a feeling of a loss of control during the binge; experiencing shame, distress or guilt afterwards; and not regularly using unhealthy compensatory measures (e.g., purging) to counter the binge eating. It is the most common eating disorder in the United States.”

Excerpt: Emotional and Behavioral Warning Signs & Symptoms

  • Steals or hoards food in strange places  

  • Creates lifestyle schedules or rituals to make time for binge sessions  

  • Withdraws from usual friends and activities 

  • Frequently diets  

  • Has secret recurring episodes of binge eating (eating in a discrete period of time an amount of food that is much larger than most individuals would eat under similar circumstances); feels lack of control over ability to stop eating  

  • Disruption in normal eating behaviors, including eating throughout the day with no planned mealtimes; skipping meals or taking small portions of food at regular meals; engaging in sporadic fasting or repetitive dieting

  • Developing food rituals (e.g., eating only a particular food or food group [e.g., condiments], excessive chewing, and not allowing foods to touch).

  • Eating alone out of embarrassment at the quantity of food being eaten

  • Feelings of disgust, depression, or guilt after overeating

 

Source: National Eating Disorder Association.

For more information click on the above link.

4.

What is Food Addiction/Addictive Nutrition?

In 1988, Dr. Kathleen DesMaisons founded Radiant Recovery® . Dr. DesMaisons is recognized for starting the field of addictive nutrition (1996). “As the biochemical understanding of sugar sensitivity and sugar addiction has evolved,” Dr. DesMaisons is credited for inspiring, "hope in hundreds of thousands worldwide who have suffered from alcoholism, sugar addiction, depression, eating disorders, and the complexities of parenting" (About Radiant Recovery, 2019). Radiant Recovery® is an online international community dedicated to healing unbalanced sugar sensitivity.

 

In a recent study, researchers at the University of Michigan studied addictive-like eating in 518 participants (Bjarnadottir, Healthline, September 2017). They used the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS), the most commonly used tool to assess food addiction. 92% of participants had addictive-like eating behavior towards certain foods; 7-10% had full-blown food addiction. Several of the foods identified include: pizza, cookies, ice cream, french fries, soda, bacon, bread.

5.

What is Health?

 The Health At Every Size® Approach from The Association for Size Diversity and Health

"The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) affirms a holistic definition of health, which cannot be characterized as simply the absence of physical or mental illness, limitation, or disease. Rather, health exists on a continuum that varies with time and circumstance for each individual. Health should be conceived as a resource or capacity available to all regardless of health condition or ability level, and not as an outcome or objective of living. Pursuing health is neither a moral imperative nor an individual obligation, and health status should never be used to judge, oppress, or determine the value of an individual." 

"The framing for a Health At Every Size (HAES®) approach comes out of discussions among healthcare workers, consumers, and activists who reject both the use of weight, size, or BMI as proxies for health, and the myth that weight is a choice. The HAES model is an approach to both policy and individual decision-making. It addresses broad forces that support health, such as safe and affordable access. It also helps people find sustainable practices that support individual and community well-being."

Source: ASDAH: HAES

6.

What is meant by "therapeutic intervention" ... "treatment modality" ... "treatment protocol"?

Refers to types of treatment and therapy.

From the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at NationalEatingDisorders.org

Types of Psychotherapy

"Perhaps one of the most important considerations when selecting a psychotherapist is the type of therapy they provide. Different therapies work differently for different people, and some may be more helpful than others, depending on the person and their stage of recovery. Reducing eating disorder behaviors is generally considered the first goal of treatment, and the following therapies currently have the most evidence for effectiveness. Treatments are listed in alphabetical order below."

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Dialectical-Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Evidence-Based Treatment (EBT)

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

7.