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Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are the cruel secret that many teen-agers and young women spend time hiding from others. Statistically, anorexia strikes more than one in every 100 teen-age girls and young women. Bulimia occurs at an even higher rate, possibly up to one out of five college-aged women.

Bulimia Nervosa

DEFINITION

Bulimia nervosa is a serious and sometimes life-threatening eating disorder affecting mainly young women. People with bulimia, known as bulimic's consume large amounts of food (binge) and then try to rid themselves of the food and calories (purge) by fasting, induced vomiting, excessive exercise and using laxatives. The behavior often serves to reduce stress and relieve anxiety. Because bulimia results from an excessive concern with weight control and self-image, and is often accompanied by depression.

DESCRIPTION

While some cases of bulimia nervosa are short-lived, usually the symptoms will be present for some months or years before a sufferer seeks help. The bingeing and purging activity associated with this disorder can cause severe damage, even death, although the risk of death is not as high as for anorexia nervosa.

Bingeing and vomiting can cause physical problems including damage to teeth from stomach acid, and heart problems due to the body being depleted of salts.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES

 Bulimia may begin as a person's reaction to the fear and sense of loss of control when a mood disorder such as depression occurs, but more often, bulimia is an ineffective way a person responds to the social and family experiences, or to other events.

One study found that mothers who are extremely concerned about their daughters' physical attractiveness and weight may help to cause bulimia. In addition, girls with eating disorders tend to have fathers and brothers who criticize their weight.

Anything that causes severe emotional pain may lead to a person using bulimia in a frantic attempt to regain a sense of control. There may be one single trauma such as an abortion, divorce, rape, death of a friend or may have come from a series of traumas. Or even from an unbearable, ongoing experience such as the break up of a marriage, or having grown up in an alcoholic family.

Some individuals become bulimic because, after years of being givers, they tire of always pleasing others but don't know how to deal with their feelings of frustration and resentment.

Yet another possible cause of bulimia can be that your feelings were not validated. That is, when you felt angry, for example, you were told it that it was wrong to feel that way, or that you were selfish, or even that you didn't really feel angry.

The resulting confusion would likely result in you turning the anger and frustration inward.

Since you had been taught not to express your emotions through words, or to trust your own feelings, one way to deal with the resulting sense of badness or craziness would be to overeat -- and then to purge the guilt and shame.

 What are the symptoms?

  • According to the World Health Organization, the criteria for a diagnosis of bulimia nervosa include the following:
  • persistent preoccupation with eating and an irresistible craving for food.
  • episodes of overeating in which large amounts of food are consumed in short periods of time.

excessive exercise, induced vomiting after eating, starving for periods of time or taking medicines such as laxatives counteract the bingeing.

fear of obesity, which is also seen in people with anorexia nervosa, and there is some overlap in the symptoms of these two diseases.

These symptoms are not the problem. They are just that, symptoms. Hypnotherapy can be used to deal not only with these symptoms, but with the underlying problems which give rise to the symptoms.

How Hypnotherapy and psychotherapy can help with bulimia 

Hypnotherapy provides a quick route to the cause of an individual's bulimia. This is because hypnosis allows direct communication with the sufferer's subconscious. And the subconscious knows what is at the root of the problem.
Distorted body image is characteristic of the bulimic, who often feels they cannot be thin enough; hypnotherapy techniques can gradually help them adjust their perceptions to reality.
Hypnotherapy works with those unexpressed emotions/feelings where you can unlearn messages you may have learned about keeping feelings in and you can learn how to safely express emotions/feelings, instead of stuffing it down and purging it out. Hypnotherapy can increase your self-control, your self-liking, your self-esteem and therefore, your self-protection.

ANOREXIA NERVOSA
DEFINITION

Anorexia, is really the flip side of the coin and manifests itself in not eating being obsessive about calories and feeling that you are fat a distorted image of yourself that our society does nothing to deter, super thin is vogue. So its understandable that you can feel that you are fat even when your bones are showing and the skin is falling of your skeleton, your periods have stopped and you are cold all the time with no energy what so ever. It can seem like a long climb back to a healthy self image and believe me I do not have all the answers but I work with the tools I have learnt and do my best to put you on the road to healing. It is an organic process that takes two and we both learn as we go along the path to wellness.

Conservative estimates suggest that one-half to one percent of females in the U.S. develop anorexia nervosa. Because more than 90 percent of all those who are affected are adolescent and young women, the disorder has been been characterized as primarily a woman's illness. It should be noted, however, that males and children as young as seven years old have been diagnosed; and women 50, 60, 70, and even 80 years of age have fit the diagnosis.
.
DESCRIPTION

The hallmark of anorexia nervosa is a preoccupation with food and a refusal to maintain minimally normal body weight. One of the most frightening aspects of the disorder is that people with anorexia nervosa

continue to think they look fat even when they are bone-thin. Their nails and hair become brittle, and their skin may become dry and yellow. Depression is common in patients suffering from this disorder. People with anorexia nervosa often complain of feeling cold (hypothermia) because their body temperature drops. They may develop lanugo (a term used to describe the fine hair on a new born) on their body.
Persons with anorexia nervosa develop strange eating habits such as cutting their food into tiny pieces, refusing to eat in front of others, or fixing elaborate meals for others that they themselves don't eat. Food and weight become obsessions as people with this disorder constantly think about their next encounter with food. Generally, if a person fears he or she has anorexia nervosa, a doctor knowledgeable about eating disorders should make a diagnosis and rule out other physical disorders. Other psychiatric disorders can occur together with anorexia nervosa, such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder

 

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES

The causes of anorexia like bulimia are complex (ie. difficult childhood, possible history of emotional, mental, physical or sexual abuse/trauma, intense dissatisfaction with body image that might begin with dieting, low self-esteem and outside influences ie. sports, media). 

Knowledge about the causes of anorexia nervosa is inconclusive, and the causes may be varied. In an attempt to understand and uncover the origins of eating disorders, scientists have studied the personalities, genetics, environments, and biochemistry of people with these illnesses. Certain personality traits common in persons with anorexia nervosa are low self-esteem, social isolation (which usually occurs after the behavior associated with anorexia nervosa begins), and perfectionism. These people tend to be good students and excellent athletes. It does seem clear (although this may not be recognized by the patient), that focusing on weight loss and food allows the person to ignore problems that are too painful or seem unresolvable.
Eating disorders also tend to run in families, with female relatives most often affected. A girl has a 10 to 20 times higher risk of developing anorexia nervosa, for instance, if she has a sibling with the disease. This finding suggests that genetic factors may predispose some people to eating disorders. Behavioral and environmental influences may also play a role. Stressful events are likely to increase the risk of eating disorders as well. In studies of the biochemical functions of people with eating disorders, scientists have found that the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine are decreased in those with anorexia, which links them with patients suffering from depression. People with anorexia nervosa also tend to have higher than normal levels of cortisol (a brain hormone released in response to stress) and vasopressin (a brain chemical found to be abnormal in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder).

Anorexia, in my experience, usually involves a literal distortion of the way a person perceives themselves, like looking into a distorting mirror. Although the person with anorexia sometimes consciously 'knows' their image of themselves is distorted, their feelings and behaviour seem to have automated themselves unconsciously to act as if the 'false' image is true. I work on both conscious and unconscious levels to help to the client to perceive themselves more accurately, feel good about themselves, and change their self-image and behaviour so that they can engage in a healthier lifestyle and make anorexia a thing of the past.

How Hypnotherapy and psychotherapy can help with Anorexia

The main problem with anorexia is that you don't actually feel you have a problem - as such.

OK, you like to feel in control of your eating and weight and probably feel panicky if it fluctuates at all. Or you probably feel frustrated at not being able to lose weight because all you see is how fat you are when you look in the mirror.

But the idea of being 'cured' of your 'illness' is probably completely undesirable because what that 'cure' implies is that you will eat more food, put on more weight and become even fatter than ever, the very thing you are trying to avoid!

But you also know that you are not happy - and that is where hypnosis and hypnotherapy can help you. You probably feel anxious much of the time. Your low self-esteem means that you don't feel that great about yourself, or even believe that you are a 'bad' person and thereby have to be extra nice to people to make up for it.

You're probably also a bit of perfectionist and as a result can be quite harsh on yourself. All of which can lead to a very stressful, anxious and self-depracating experience. Not a particularly fulfilling way of being, especially when you have to keep secrets from even your closest friends.

When someone like yourself comes to me for help, we hardly even mention food and weight. What I focus on instead is helping you to feel better about yourself. To feel more confident and more relaxed. To feel more in control once again and to rebuild your self-esteem and self-respect.

Hypnotherapy and hypnosis is very effective at doing this and a rather beneficial side effect is that you then also tend to feel much more in control of your eating and your weight.

If you'd like to discuss this further - with absolutely no commitment - please do at least call or e-mail me today so we can have a chat. After that it's up to you.

 

SIGNS TO WATCH OUT FOR.....

Although victims of anorexia and bulimia do not exhibit every symptom, there are a number of generally observable signs.

PHYSICAL: Extreme weight change, hypothermia, insomnia, constipation, skin rash and dry skin, loss of hair and nail quality, dental disease, reduction in the menstrual cycle.

Behavioral: Unusual eating habits: eating only foods of a particular texture or color, no longer eating regular meals with families, arranging food on a plate, excessive chewing. With bulimic, household food supplies may be quickly exhausted.

Hyperactivity or high interest in exercise. Frequent weighing. Use of laxatives and diet pills.

EMOTIONAL: Distorted body image and denial. Inability to think clearly due to biological changes.
Low sense of self-worth and self-control. Perfectionism. Masked anger.


To contact Kate call her on 020 8404 9374 or 07545618462
You can email Kate at kate@katehudsonhall.com
View Kate’s weight loss web site www.imagineyourselfslim.co.uk

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