Eating disorders: how are they treated with psychotherapy?

Eating disorders are among the most serious psychological disorders.

Indeed, they can cause death either by wear and tear of the body, or by heart failure due to a drop in potassium in the body due to vomiting or the relationship of these disorders with suicide attempts, relatively common. in people who develop them.

That is why, in the face of disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, etc., it is important to undergo therapy as early as possible with the help of qualified professionals. In this article we will see how psychotherapy works to manage symptoms of eating disorders and overcome them.

    What are eating disorders?

    So-called eating disorders (ED), also known as eating disorders, are psychological disorders in which the person who develops them adopts them pathological forms of feeding. In this category we mainly find these TCA.

    1. Bulimia

    In bulimia nervosa, the person experiences uncontrollable impulses to perform food crisesAfter that, perform behaviors to try to compensate for this intake, such as vomiting or exercising to burn at least some of those extra calories.

      2. Anorexia

      People with anorexia they feel like they have an overweight problem that obsesses them, So avoid as much as possible to make the food intake that your body needs.

      3. Binge eating disorder

      This is an eating disorder similar to bulimia, but with the difference that after binge eating, no purging or compensating behavior is performed (unless you follow a more restrictive diet or rigid, creating the next frenzy).

      4. Other disorders associated with obesity

      There are other psychological issues related to food, such as the tendency to overeat regularly or even the perception that we are too thin when we really are not. However, in these cases there is less consensus on whether these phenomena constitute alterations comparable to the eating disorders we have seen so far.

      Treatment of eating disorders in psychotherapy

      Now let’s take a look at the key ideas that help us understand how to intervene in eating disorders resulting from psychotherapy.

      1. Support of the therapeutic process

      psychologists we deal with the issues that arise from even being aware that you have a disorder and the daily changes that those who experience it go through. For example, fears and insecurities related to the use of psychotropic drugs and new foods and the amounts to which to adapt.

      2. Adoption of healthier habits

      In psychotherapy they are offered strategies for adopting new habits that make it easier to eat healthy. It is not about learning to cook certain dishes, but about putting in place behaviors that help to have a healthy relationship with food as opposed to compensatory rituals (running to lose weight, vomiting, etc.) .

      3. Learn to recognize emotions

      Many times people with certain eating disorders try to quash an unpleasant emotional state by consuming foods that appeal to them. For that, in psychotherapy, it helps them to be better able to correctly identify their emotions and their psychological states in generalThis makes it possible to apply solutions adapted to these forms of discomfort, instead of “covering yourself” with food without really feeling hungry.

      4. Learn to recognize patterns of behavior

      Another task of psychologists is to help patients better understand their everyday behavior styles. To do this, they are encouraged to do self-assessments on a regular basis and are given the keys to learning to spot trends in the thought and behavior patterns they write and describe.

      5. Set goals and commit to improving

      in psychotherapy encourages patients to be motivated to achieve the goals that will lead them to overcome their disorder. In addition, they are taught to adopt the appropriate predisposition to reach milestones without getting discouraged and throwing in the towel.

      6. Prevention of suicidal behavior

      Suicide attempts are much more common among patients with ADD than among the general population, which does not mean that most of these people will attempt suicide. This is why, in therapy, these questions are explored in order to act over time and propose alternatives.

      7. Prevention and intervention of other problems

      Eating disorders promote or often cause other psychological disorders, such as trauma, depression, addictions, or generalized anxiety.

      This is why in addition to preventing the appearance of these, improving the mental health of the patient by intervening in his eating disorder, psychologists must work on the signs of other possible behavioral disorders harmful to the patient. the person and that have nothing to do directly with the diet. . There is much more than what we think, beneath this visible part of eating, to an eating disorder.

      Are you looking for professional psychological support?

      If you think you are experiencing symptoms associated with an eating disorder and would like to undergo psychotherapy, we invite you to contact us. Fr the Miguel Ángel Psychology and Psychotherapy Center we have a team with decades of experience helping people with such issues, both in online therapy and in face-to-face therapy at our facilities in Bilbao. You can find more information about us on this page.

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