Eating Disorders

Negative evaluation of one’s body and shape

Leading to a vicious cycle of dieting, binge eating, and depression

The number of individuals who suffer from eating disorders has increased since more people are adopting an ideal body type that has been shaped by the media. Eating disorder affects approximately 1-3% of young females. Binge eating, which is a common symptom in many eating disorders, is characterized by a sense of loss of control over-eating and typically develops during late adolescence or young adulthood. According to research, only 10% of those who binge eat are overweight and 25-30% of the population are anorexic.

 

Individuals with eating disorders show maladaptive eating behaviors and have overwhelming fear or anxiety that they may gain weight. After intense dieting, a person may binge eat, that is, eat too rapidly and in large amounts. Feelings of guilt or disgust after binge eating often lead to self-induced vomiting to get rid of the food. Such symptoms of eating disorders often cause depression, low self-esteem, and difficulties in emotion regulation and interpersonal relations. Clinical treatment programs that can help with both emotion regulation and control over behavioral urges are essential as eating disorders commonly lead to different emotional, behavioral, and social functioning problems. 

 

DBT helps to reduce depressive symptoms following binge eating and compensatory behaviors of eating disorders relating to emotion dysregulation and impulsivity. It also changes negative self-evaluation of individuals, reducing anger and fear regarding weight gain, body shape, and diet, and improve ability to control binge eating.

Below are common types of eating disorders: 

 

Anorexia Nervosa 

– Very restricted eating patterns: extreme starvation and malnutrition lead to individuals being severely underweight and if the symptoms persist, it can also cause significant health problems 

 

– Intense fear of gaining weight: despite being underweight individuals show intense fear of gaining weight which leads to behaviors such as missing meals, exercising excessively, using laxatives, etc. 

 

– Negative self-evaluation: body weight and perceived body shape have a huge influence on an individual’s self-evaluation and the individual has difficulties being aware of the serious consequences of being underweight 

 

Bulimia Nervosa 

– Binge eating: individual eats large quantities of food very quickly to the point of discomfort, often involving a sense of loss of control overeating  

 

– Compensatory behaviors: individuals often involve in compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, using laxatives, restricting food intake, exercising excessively to prevent oneself from gaining weight 

 

– Negative self-evaluation: individual’s self-esteem is significantly influenced by perceived body shape  

 

Please contact us if you are currently experiencing any of the symptoms above.