How Much Counseling Will Help Me Recover from an Eating Disorder?

How Much Counseling Will Help Me Recover from an Eating Disorder?Eating disorders are complicated and require careful, comprehensive treatment if lasting recovery is to be realized. Specialized counseling is a crucial part of the recovery process and can make all the difference in your eventual recovery. Get help today for treating an eating disorder.

How Eating Disorders Work

The brain controls the following critical functions:

  • Waking and sleeping
  • Motivation and optimism
  • Exercise
  • Sexual attraction and function
  • Memory
  • Managing feelings of happiness or sadness
  • Response to fear and anxiety
  • Appetite

Naturally chemicals such as endorphins and adrenaline stimulate the reward center of the brain, which will then crave these chemical spikes. In this way things like stealing, gambling, self-injury, thrill seeking and eating disorders can become behavioral addictions. Essentially, those with an eating disorder are addicted to the chemicals that promote wellbeing, and they will compulsively engage in whatever behavior produces this pleasure.

What Are Eating Disorders?

The following list includes the three basic types of eating disorders:

  • Anorexia nervosa, or self-starvation
  • Bulimia, or over-eating followed by purging through the abuse of laxatives or force vomiting
  • Binge eating, or a compulsive need to eat far more than is healthy

Eating disorders are more common among women than men, but they are found in all genders. Unhealthy concepts of beauty and attraction are often a part of the problem, as are issues of control. The following are common symptoms of an eating disorder:

  • Dishonesty about eating
  • Distorted body image (someone who is significantly underweight feeling fat)
  • Compulsive exercise
  • Stained teeth from vomiting

If left untreated these disorders often lead to substance abuse, self-injury, depression or even suicide. In time an anorexic person will eventually starve to death if she does not receive careful, experienced rehab services.

How Counseling Helps People with Eating Disorders

Strategic counseling is at the heart of recovering from an eating disorder. Tools such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are much more than time to talk about feelings. Much as a coach teaches new skills to a developing athlete, counselors teach patients to develop coping skills that help them be aware of their emotions and feel empowered to change. Counseling often identifies and treats co-occurring psychological conditions that contribute to an eating disorder, including any of the following problems:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Insecurity
  • Previous physical or sexual abuse

Counseling can occur in a residential or outpatient program. Programs may last from several days to multiple weeks or even months. The initial therapy is followed by ongoing and long-term aftercare that is likely to include the following elements:

  • Personal counseling sessions
  • Support group meetings
  • Ongoing education
  • Personal accountability
  • The opportunity to help others suffering from this same disorder

If you struggle with an eating disorder, there is a treatment program that can help you recover.

Help for Eating Disorders

If you are ready to put your eating disorder behind you, then please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline any time. Our counselors will answer any questions you have and will connect you to the best recovery program for your exact needs. Since everyone who undergoes this therapy is unique, there is no way to know exactly how much counseling you will need until treatment begins. Find answers and tangible help for an eating disorder by calling us now.