Eating disorders


Eating disorders are a serious and distressing mental illness that affects approximately 9% of the population. While that figure may seem small, at Person Centred Psychology & Allied Health we do not take it lightly. Eating disorders such as bulimia, binge eating or anorexia nervosa have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness and professional treatment is a proven method to help sufferers find a way out.

This is why it’s important that you find professional treatment from psychologists who understand and have experience treating eating disorders. Proper treatment is important to combat such an illness as binge eating, anorexia or bulimia. While we believe it is possible for people at any stage of their eating disorder to recover, or greatly improve their health and quality of life, evidence shows early intervention is most effective. If you, or someone you care about is showing signs of an eating disorder or disordered eating, we recommend contacting one of our treatment team as soon as possible to discuss your concerns

Symptoms can include excessive dieting, restricting calories, binge eating, purging, and excessive exercise. Common eating disorders include Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating Disorder as well as many people who have significantly disordered eating but don’t fit into any of these boxes.

Disordered eating has a serious impact on a sufferer’s emotional and physical wellbeing, and men and women who experience an eating disorder often experience high levels of anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, and self-loathing. These emotions, coupled with uncertainty about change can make it very difficult to ask for help. Our South Melbourne team includes psychologists who have experience in counselling helping people address their eating disorder through in clinic sessions, and will walk beside you on your path to recovery and taking back control of your life.

 

Binge eating

Binge eating is when you eat an unusually large amount of food and feel out of control in terms of what and how much you are eating. Binge eating may occur in people suffering an eating disorder like Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder or Anorexia, but it may also occur in people who don’t have an eating disorder. Binge eating is often driven by extreme hunger following a period of restrictive dieting. Binge eating may also occur as a way of managing or distracting from uncomfortable emotions. Whilst people may seek comfort foods when they are feeling lonely, sad or stressed, this is not the same as binge eating. Binge eating is different because it feels out of your control and leaves you feeling significantly distressed – with guilt, shame, and fear of gaining weight – and a sense of hopelessness. If you live in Melbourne and are distressed by your binge eating behaviour, contact one of our experienced psychologists for counselling and treatment.

 

Anorexia

Anorexia is dominated by an intense fear of gaining weight, internal pressure to follow strict diet and exercise rules, and a need to stay in control and manage difficult emotions. Anorexia is a complex illness that has significant psychological and medical complications. Our psychologists have a network of health professionals they collaborate with to ensure that all aspects of your illness are treated. Our psychologists will work to understand your individual experience. They can help you understand why symptoms of anorexia make it difficult to achieve change on your own.

 

Bulimia

Some of our team of Melbourne psychologists are experts in bulimia treatment and have worked with many people who find themselves trapped in this diet-binge-purge cycle. They are skilled in helping you to break free.

In today’s food and weight obsessed world, where food is easily accessible and we are bombarded with images of very thin women, it is not uncommon to develop an unhealthy relationship with food. Bulimia often begins with restrictive dieting in an effort to reach the idealised thin body type. However, the human body has its own strategies for survival and it is not uncommon for periods of extreme dieting to be followed by extreme overeating. This episode of overeating is known as a binge. During binge eating you feel a loss of control of the amount and type of food you eat. Afterwards, you might feel shame, guilt, disgust and an intense fear of gaining weight. If you suffer from bulimia, these difficult emotions cause you to purge the food by vomiting, using laxatives, or extreme exercise.