Eating Disorders and Body Image Problems
Eating disorders are extreme expressions of food, weight and body image issues experienced by many adolescents and children. Eating and Body Image Disorders can be incredibly dangerous because the behaviors are often associated with significant health problems, especially in children and teens who are developing. 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 include:
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 see themselves as overweight even though they are often 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.
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 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.
In addition to helping with more severe eating problems, Equilibria Kids offers a comprehensive weight and lifestyle management program. The goal of this program is to help our clients develop a more adaptive and healthy relationship with food, fitness and overall health. Using coaching and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, we help our child and teen clients change and develop their relationship with food and their bodies.
If you would like to meet or talk with one of our child psychologists or therapists in Philadelphia or Fort Washington about our services for eating disorders and body image, please call us at (267) 861-3685, option 1. Or click below to fill out our secure online form.