Eating and Body Image

Eating and Body Image Related Problems

Eating disorders are extreme expressions of food, weight and body image issues experienced by many women and men. Eating and Body Image Disorders can be incredibly dangerous because the behaviors are often associated with significant health problems. When someone suffers from an eating and/or body image problem, it is imperative to seek professional help to assist in changing the unhealthy patterns and coping.

Common Eating Disorders

Anorexia Nervosa: A person who suffers from anorexia has extremely low body weight for his/her height and often suffers from an intense fear of gaining weight, often resisting all outside attempts of helping the person achieve a normal body weight. Individuals with anorexia often see themselves as overweight even though they tend to be very thin. They frequently use food or starving themselves as a way of feeling more in control of their life and to ease the pain of difficult emotions. Anorexia can be life threatening and requires immediate professional attention.

Bulimia Nervosa: People who suffer from bulimia present with episodes of binge-eating followed by maladaptive techniques of weight control (e.g., vomiting, excessive laxative use, compulsive exercising). Excessive body concerns around weight and shape are also common problems for individuals suffering from bulimia. This behavior is often a response to problematic feeling states such as low self-esteem, depression or anxiety. Individuals often fluctuate between feeling out of control (binging behavior), and then attempting to regain control by engaging in their weight loss efforts. Like anorexia, the physical and emotional impact of this problem can be devastating and requires immediate professional intervention.

Compulsive Overeating: Compulsive overeating is an excessive consumption of food. It is very emotional in nature and often used to fill an empty feeling or used to cope with difficult emotions such as depression, anxiety or daily stressors. Since it is often emotional in nature, the act of compulsive overeating can begin a cycle of increased negative feelings, guilt and increased feelings of emptiness because the core emotional issues triggering the compulsive overeating are often neglected.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder: People who suffer from body dysmorphic disorder obsessively focus on perceived flaws that they see with their bodies, even if these flaws are imagined or minor. This obsessive focus on their flaws interferes with their ability to function in a healthy and adaptive way in other areas of their lives.

In addition to help with more severe eating problems, we have a comprehensive weight and lifestyle management program at Equilibria Psychological and Consultation Services. Our goal is to help our clients develop a more adaptive and healthy relationship with food, fitness and overall health.

Understanding the root of one’s eating issues is imperative to try and stop the cycle of negative thinking and self-destructive behaviors. By identifying these negative thought and behavior patterns, we help our clients develop more positive relationships with their bodies, food and fitness. We work closely with nutrition, medical and exercise professionals in the community to help our clients develop a healthier approach to their eating and bodies.

If you are affected by any of these conditions, we can help.

Schedule An Appointment

If you would like to meet or talk with one of our psychologists or therapists in Philadelphia about eating disorders, call us at (267) 861-3685, option 1; or fill out our online form.