Nowadays, eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia are becoming increasingly common. If someone deliberately starves themselves yet believes they are overweight, they could be suffering from anorexia nervosa – a serious emotional disorder which requires intervention. This is characterised by a dramatically restricted diet, often accompanied by excessive exercise. The outcome is dangerous weight loss that can cause severe damage to the body – or in more extreme cases, death.
Both body and mind need help
Bulimia is a form of anorexia, in which the individual can misuse laxatives or diuretics; they may also use enemas and/or vomiting to rid the body of food consumed whilst binge eating. Such actions place the body at significant medical risk – and both anorexia and bulimia are not only serious, but difficult to treat. As well as the need for physical intervention, the mind also needs treatment – since the individual with the eating disorder sees themselves as fat, despite in some cases being as little as 50% of their usual weight.
These eating disorders often begin around the time of puberty. However, although more unusual, eating disorders can also affect people later in life – and at any age, females are at highest risk. If your child begins to show symptoms such as an infrequent or halted menstrual cycle, hair thinning, dry skin, swollen and/or cold feet, or bloating – at the same time as drastic weight loss – then you need to investigate.
The psychological symptoms can include problems with memory and/or concentration, poor judgment, denial, a distorted perception of the body, depression, and obsessive compulsive behaviour. Treating eating disorders is usually a longer process that addresses both the psychological and physical sides. The traditional treatment options include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and antidepressants. However, because of the significance of the mind in these disorders, hypnosis has also been proven very beneficial for a number of sufferers. Cognitive Behavioural hypnotherapy – combining CBT with hypnotherapy – is an excellent intervention as it often gets to the root of the issue, empowering the sufferer both physically and mentally.
A means of control
The precise cause of bulimia and anorexia is as yet not known, but the majority of experts believe it is a way whereby the individual tries to gain control over their life. Therefore young girls trying to fit in at school, struggling with dating, or living in a difficult home environment can turn to an eating disorder to feel some semblance of control. Using hypnosis, the subconscious can be taught to alter this maladapted pattern of thinking – and can be open to positive suggestions to find healthier ways of fulfilling the perceived needs behind the eating disorder.
The underlying issues that resulted in the eating disorder are also addressed. The individual learns healthy control, self confidence, and other positive tools that can be used to overcome bulimia or anorexia. Remember that along with hypnotherapy, the individual will need love and support by family and friends – within a positive environment, recovery can take place. The individual is also likely to need physical treatment and medication.
These factors altogether will provide the best likelihood of success – and a number of medical doctors are adding hypnotherapy to their practice for this reason. For those in need of immediate intervention on the mindset level, this download may provide help. Otherwise, if you or anyone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, I am a qualified hypnotherapist experienced in supporting clients with these issues (see my success stories). I am based in Canterbury, Kent and Peckham, London SE15; and also offer online sessions, wherever in the world you may be. Please feel welcome to call me on 07947 475721 for a free no-obligation 15 minute phone consultation to see how I can help.