Eating Disorder Specialist in Philadelphia, PA

Eating Disorder Therapy

Eating is a part of our everyday life. Our body requires food as fuel to function throughout the day and give us energy. Many people pay attention to the food they eat, trying to maintain a healthy diet or exercise program. However, others who show medical or mental illness with their approach to food and weight are diagnosed with an eating disorder.

Eating disorders are serious, biologically influenced medical illnesses marked by severe disturbances to one’s eating behaviors. These disorders can affect a person’s physical and mental health. In some cases, eating disorders can be life-threatening.

Eating disorders may be the result of bullying, poor self-image, trauma, weight stigma, or other psychological, biological, or behavioral factors.

Perez Psychotherapy is licensed in the state of Pennsylvania and New York and proudly offers online eating disorder therapy to individuals throughout Philadelphia, Scranton, and NYC.

Types of Eating Disorders

The two most commonly diagnosed eating disorders include anorexia nervosa (severely limiting or avoiding food) or bulimia nervosa (eating large amounts of food followed by purging).

Binge-eating disorder (overeating without purging) can also lead to serious medical effects such as obesity. Avoidant restrictive food take disorder is a dramatic restriction of types or amount of food eaten.

With treatment, people can recover completely from eating disorders and live a balanced, healthy life.

What are the Signs of an Eating Disorder?

Most people eating disorders will show signs of:

  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Obsession with controlling food
  • Repetitive weighing
  • Excessive exercise
  • Pursuit of thinness
  • Unwillingness to maintain a normal or healthy weight
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Distorted body or self-image
  • Denial of the seriousness of low body weight

 People with anorexia nervosa may be:

  • Avoiding food
  • Severely restricting food
  • Eating very small quantities of only certain foods
  • Extreme thinness (emaciation)

People with bulimia nervosa may show:

  • Lack of control over their eating
  • Binging or eating large amounts of food in a short time
  • Overeating, followed by trying to get rid of food that was consumed
  • Forced vomiting
  • Using laxatives or diuretics
  • Fasting

What is the Treatment for Eating Disorders?

Treatment plans for eating disorders include psychotherapy, nutritional counseling, medications, medical care and monitoring, or a combination of treatments.

Treatment for an eating disorder commonly will address:

  • Eating disorder symptoms
  • Medical consequences
  • Psychological or mental illnesses
  • Biological implications
  • Brain chemistry
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Cultural forces
  • Nutritional recommendations
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Medications, such as antidepressants or sedatives

Psychotherapy can be implemented across a variety of eating disorders, and its ultimate goal is to bring about improvements in your health. You can learn tools to use and strategies to cope with eating disorders and take control of your life.

Nutritional counseling as part of psychotherapy can incorporate education about nutritional needs. We can help you learn about food, the nutrients your body needs, and how to monitor rational choices.  This will put you on a path to navigate food long after you work through your eating disorder.

Medication is also available as a treatment option for eating disorders and usually involves antidepressants and sedatives. These medications help to balance brain and body chemistry, prevent anxiety episodes, and curb the severity of symptoms. Talk to your doctor to see if medication is the best route to help with your eating disorder.

Medical treatment may also be part of your healing as eating disorders can greatly impact your body and its necessary functions.  Eating disorders can lead to thinning bones, hair loss, low blood pressure, infertility, lethargy, muscle weakness, brain damage, organ failure, throat issues, dehydration, teeth issues, and sometimes death.

Your body is an amazing gift and food will always be a part of life. Your eating disorders may be too much to handle on your own. Let us work with you to get you headed in the right direction.

Goals of Eating Disorder Treatment

As you seek treatment for an eating disorder, you are taking the right step towards a more healthy version of yourself. Our providers are specially trained to establish a trusting relationship and help you live a better life.

Some common goals of eating disorder treatment include:

  • Restoring adequate nutrition
  • Bringing weight to a healthy level
  • Reducing excessive exercise
  • Stopping binge-purge and binge-eating behaviors

Eating Disorders Can Be Very Complex

People with eating disorders can be very complex and sometimes the approach to food can vary or overlap. Diagnosing an eating disorder is not always straightforward, as many individuals have a unique approach to food, diet, or exercise.

Eating disorders can develop in any gender and at any age. Often, it feels that you are trapped and you no longer have a choice. Our professionals will listen to your specific needs to give you the care you deserve.

When should I see a doctor at Perez Psychotherapy for an Anxiety Disorder?

If you feel you may be at risk for developing an eating disorder or are already suffering from one, we can help. You do not have to feel overwhelmed or controlled by food. The chance for recovery increases the earlier an eating disorder is detected.

We will help you through the psychological and medical implications of eating, and help develop a path towards healthy nutrition. The ultimate goal is to bring about improvements in your everyday life.

Is an Eating Disorder Holding You Back?

Contact Perez Psychotherapy today to speak with one of our providers.