Talk Therapy for Eating Disorders

Talk Therapy for Eating DisordersEating disorders almost invariably stem from deep emotional and psychological issues. Therefore, people with these problems need talk therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to address not only their behavioral problems but also the underlying problems that drive the disordered eating.

The Roots of Eating Disorders

Anorexia and bulimia often have roots in childhood, and may result from the pressure to achieve a physical standard. Multiple issues may cause this, like the media’s obsession with thinness. Also, gender seems to be a strong factor in developing these problems, as far more women than men struggle with this issue. Regardless, both sexes are bombarded with media images of physical perfection that are simply unrealistic for most people to achieve. This trend has been amplified recently as female models and movie stars get thinner and thinner until the conventional ideal of beauty is an emaciated woman with protruding bones. Many women will never be as thin as supermodels, but they may never quit trying to attain what they perceive as beauty. This can lead to serious health problems, such as malnutrition, depression and a host of other mental health issues.

Everyone in modern society is exposed to these same images, yet not everyone develops an eating disorder. Many experts theorize that parental attitudes explain this discrepancy. For example, Dr. Laura Roberts, PhD (a clinical psychologist specializing in eating disorders) states that parental attitudes play a major role in shaping a child’s body image and relationship to food. She explains that parents can trigger eating disorders in their children if they emphasize physical attractiveness and thinness, and if they encourage dieting and other behaviors designed to achieve a standard of physical perfection. Binge eating disorder, in contrast to anorexia and bulimia, is usually regarded as an attempt to self-medicate emotional pain. As people indulge in excessive food consumption, it resembles how drug addicts self-medicate their issues by using drugs.

Situational Eating Disorders

Some eating disorders can be triggered by simple stress and the demands of an exacting occupation. A case in point is the prevalence of eating disorders among both men and women in the military. Multiple studies have studied this subject and concluded that the military’s standards of physical fitness are a major cause, if not the main cause, of eating disorders among military personnel.

Talk Therapy for Eating Disorders

CBT and DBT have proven effective in treating eating disorders. If you or someone you know needs treatment for an eating disorder, then don’t delay to get help. Eating disorders are serious and possibly life-threatening conditions, yet they can be treated effectively. For help finding treatment for an eating disorder, or if you have any other questions, then call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline right now.