We understand anorexia nervosa, why it is so hard to change, and how it affects your life.
Is this you (or your loved one)?
Emotions & behaviour
- Self-starvation, with fear of eating, particularly food believed to be fattening.
- Intense feelings of fatness no matter how thin, especially after eating.
- Denying that there is a problem (in some people).
- Getting angry with loved ones who express concerns.
- Not wanting help but you are not sure why.
- Rigid and obsessive behaviour with food and exercise, accompanied by a self-critical inner Voice demanding perfection and obedience.
- Withdrawal from normal life and spending a lot of time worrying and thinking about food.
- Depression and poor confidence.
Starving affects every part of the body. The main effects include: brittle bones, infertility (which can be reversed with successful treatment), insomnia, depression and anxiety. The right kind of help can help to heal.
Stages of anorexia
Anorexia is not a simple condition. There are various stages and a person may stay trapped in one stage or move between stages.
- Weight loss which is alarming for parents & loved ones.
- Low weight which may continue for years. There may be bulimic behaviours like bingeing and purging.
- Recovery, with a mighty struggle to overcome the anorexia, gain a normal weight, eat a normal diet and cope with all life’s stresses and demands.
Anorexia can be life-threatening, if left unattended, with a spiral into mental and physical problems. Recovery is possible with the right support and treatment.
Anorexia treatment is forward-looking and not just about food and weight. Recovery is about building a new relationship with food of course, and is also about emotional strengthening, raising self-worth and finding better ways of feeling in control. A good, trustful relationship is perhaps the most important part of recovery and our therapists are trained to understand anorexia and what it means. We start with a full assessment, to help build a personalised treatment plan that can call upon other experts such as a dietician or G.P. and sometimes the carers.
Anorexia treatment takes time and will focus on:
- Gaining insight into anorexia, plus building motivation and commitment to change.
- Nutritional guidance, firstly to deal with any emergencies, then to assist with weight change in a gentle and collaborative way.
- Coping well with life and people; managing fear, panic, stress and unhappiness.
- Managing perfectionism and anorexic thoughts.
- Self-worth and body image healing.
The next step
NCFED counsellors are certified eating disorder experts. You can trust them to support you with wisdom in your journey. Would you like to know HOW you developed your eating problem and WHAT can be done? The first step is to have a no-obligation assessment (only £65) in person, by phone, or by Skype with someone who cares. The first step starts here.