Counselling & Psychology for Eating Problems in Wolverhampton
People who suffer with eating problems are usually suffering from some sort of poor self image that is, from their point of view, managed through the way that food is consumed.
A person with eating problems may focus excessively on their weight and shape, leading them to make unhealthy choices about food with damaging results to their health.
Because the sufferer has a badly distorted sense of self they tend to attribute this distortion to the food that they eat, or use food as an internal way of expressing this “problem”, so they either believe that they eat too much (and might believe that they are “fat” or “greedy”) or they may feel somehow compelled to “binge” and the perhaps “purge”.
There are many more “variants” within the eating problems ‘spectrum’.
More recently there has been much press about the degree of obesity in our modern societies and the latest figures suggest that obesity now affects MORE than 50% of the population of the UK.
What are the different forms of eating problems?
Eating problems come in several different “forms” and can have various different affects including psychological, physical, emotional and social issues.
Bulimia:– Is an eating problem characterised by attempts to control weight by “stuffing” or “binging” on food followed by a second phase of “purging”, deliberately making oneself sick in order to counteract the overeating.
A very common feature is that this binge-purge cycle is usually kept very secret and sufferers feel very guilty about what they do.
Compulsive Eaters:– Is a condition where people continue to eat food even when feeling full.
Most compulsive eaters are very overweight and use food as a way to alleviate or relieve “emotional” problems such as depression, stress or anxiety.
Anorexia:– The principle characteristic of this serious problem is that the sufferer continues to believe that they are “fat” or “overweight” even when they are terribly underweight.
This “cognitive distortion” leads to behaviours where only tiny amounts of food are eaten with the body suffering very obvious malnutrition.
Eating Problems Video – Anorexia
What causes eating problems?
In the current climate there is a lot of blame being levelled at the media, particularly “glamour” magazines and “lifestyle” publications that are said to project totally unrealistic images of “thin” and “beautiful” people that young people aspire to be.
This pressure to “fit-in” is said to create enormous pressure on young minds leading to unrealistic expectations of what one must look like to be “accepted.”
Whilst elements of this view may be true, there are usually more complex psychological issues involved.
A number of these psychological issues that can contribute to the development of food disorders include:
- A family history of eating disorders
- Being exposed to harsh criticism about weight or shape
- Working in an environment in which there is pressure to be “slim”
- Personality traits that might make you more susceptible to eating disorders
- A history of Depression
- Sexual or Emotional Trauma
- Abusive relationships
- High levels of stress at work, home or School
Are eating problems common?
Bulimia is around five times more prevalent than Anorexia and almost exclusively affects females (although we have helped a number of men here at the clinic).
Bulimia tends to present itself around the ages of 17-19 years of age.
Compulsive Eating affects men and women in equal proportions and tends to become a problem later on in life with most of our clients presenting in the early to mid thirties.
Although Anorexia tends to make for very traumatic headlines, it is less common than people may think with estimated figures showing less than 0.5% of women will suffer and ten times less men (0.05%). Anorexia tends to present around 15-18 years of age.
Eating Problems are serious conditions and it is imperative that you consult your Doctor before deciding on any course of therapy.
Effective Help for Eating Problems in Wolverhampton
In general terms we treat most eating problems with counselling and psychology rather than through Hypnotherapy. Whilst Hypnotherapy is very useful for eating problems such as over-eating or for those people wanting to lose weight, it may be less useful for people who fall into the area of ‘Eating Disorders’ such as those listed above.