Therapy for Anorexia Nervosa: Symptoms and Treatment
Finding quality treatment for Anorexia Nervosa (and other eating disorders) can be daunting. Anorexia Nervosa is one of the most common psychiatric diagnoses in young women and affects up to 1% of the population. Anorexia commonly appears in adolescence. The consequences can be devastating, affecting ones’ physical health, quality of life and general functioning.
Anorexia Nervosa involves an obsessive preoccupation with weight, calorie intake, exercise and the nutritional components of food. Commonly, the fear of weight gain is paralyzing and one will go to great lengths to lose weight. Body image and body size makes up a large part of ones’ identity, struggling to see that they have worth if they are not their perceived ideal weight.
Types of Anorexia Nervosa:
1.Binge Eating/Purging Type: Excessive consumption of food (Binging), followed by vomiting(purging) to eliminate the calories consumed and eliminate residual guilt and anxiety about possible weight gain.
2.Restrictive Type: A diet that is low in calories and nutrition.
Anorexia Nervosa Symptoms
- Constant dieting.
- Significant restrictive food intake, often to a dangerous degree, despite hunger cues.
- Missing entire meals, sometimes not eating anything at all.
- Elimination of entire food groups in attempt to lose weight or gain “control”.
- Reassurance seeking from family members and friends about weight.
- Excessive use of scales, mirrors and clothing to “measure” for weight loss or weight gain.
- Avoidance of eating in social settings.
- Highly ritualized eating patterns (eating in certain orders or having to have exact portions).
- Excessive exercising to “undo” or to “balance out” food intake.
- Social withdrawal, in fear that someone will comment or notice ones’ weight or “fat”.
One of the biggest struggles with treatment is the client’s inability to acknowledge or understand the severity or presence of their disorder. Commonly, those with eating disorders will deny that they have a mental disorder and instead insist that their “weight is the problem”.
Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most successful form of therapy/counseling for Anorexia Nervosa. Client here to learn more about CBT
If you have some or all of these symptoms and you feel like the above information describes you, see a qualified mental health professional, therapist or counselor for an assessment. Click here to contact Kimberley Quinlan, LMFT
We provide treatment for the greater Los Angeles County area, San Fernando Valley area and Ventura County area, including Calabasas, Woodland Hills, Hidden Hills, Bell Canyon, Encino, Tarzana, Agoura, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Oak Park, Santa Monica and Malibu.