Eating Disorder Therapy in NYC
Food is an essential component of life. More than just providing us the nutrients needed to survive, food defines cultures and is a source of excitement in our lives. Yet, for some of us, we view food differently. Those with eating disorders are seriously affected in their daily lives due to a negative relationship with food and may have life-threatening consequences. It’s normal to feel guilty about an eating disorder, even though having an eating disorder is not a choice. Recovery is possible: eating disorders can be treated.
What are the different types of eating disorders?
Some may even be difficult to classify, so all eating issues should be evaluated based on their own context.
There are a few main types of eating disorders:
- Anorexia nervosa
- Bulimia nervosa
- Binge eating disorder
- Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
1. Anorexia nervosa
Individuals with anorexia nervosa (otherwise known as anorexia):
- Fear gaining weight
- Perceive themselves as overweight, even when they are thin
- Eat minimal amounts of food
The root of anorexia is a distorted or skewed body image. When you always think you’re too heavy, or too fat, you may go to extreme measures to lose weight. You will likely start eating less, and then maybe as little as possible. Food and the amount of calories you’ve eaten are always on your mind. If you find that cutting down on eating isn’t enough, you may resort to other more methods, such as extreme exercise, or laxatives, diuretics, or enemas.
2. Bulimia nervosa
Individuals with bulimia nervosa (otherwise known as bulimia):
- Overeat and cannot control their food intake
- Compensate for overeating by purging (force themselves to vomit), exercising, or other weight loss methods
- May have a skewed body image
If you have bulimia, you may go through cycles of overeating and purging. Unlike those with anorexia, who are underweight, the body shape of someone with bulimia may vary, ranging anywhere from thin to overweight. Further, unlike someone with binge eating disorder, bulimia consists of purging food in addition to binge eating. You may feel embarrassed about your binging and purging habits, and hide them from others.
3. Binge eating disorder
Individuals with binge eating disorder:
- Overeat and cannot control their food intake
- Often gain weight and end up overweight
- Eat despite not being hungry
- May feel guilty after binge eating
If you have a binge eating disorder, you may eat a lot of food in one sitting, and you typically do so while eating alone. You may also eat faster than the average person does. In contrast to bulimia, you do not counteract eating with purging or exercising. You may also feel guilty because of your binge eating habits.
4. Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
Individuals with ARFID:
- Are simply not interested in food, or avoid foods
- Do not have a poor body image
- Lose weight
If you have ARFID, you choose not to eat because you don’t like food. It could be due to the smell, taste, or feeling of food. You might also be afraid of eating, given a possibility of choking or vomiting. You don’t have anorexia or bulimia either.
What are the challenges to living with eating disorders?
Eating disorders are dangerous, and can be life-threatening. Their symptoms are more lethal than other mental health conditions, only second to an opioid overdose.
If you have an eating disorder, it is very likely that you spend most of your eating time alone. To sustain your eating habits, whether it is through binging and purging, or over-exercising, you may have put significant effort into arranging your life in a specific way that disrupts your normal living. If your eating disorder involves not eating, or purging, you may have a lack of nutrition that is necessary for your body to function properly. So, it may be extremely difficult to concentrate, for example at work, and you will likely develop other health symptoms, such as cramps, dizziness, digestive issues, and heart problems.
Further, co-occurring mental health conditions are very common among those with eating disorders. 97% of patients treated for an eating disorder are found to be diagnosed with at least another mental health disorder. Co-occurring conditions include anxiety, depression, OCD, substance use disorders, and suicidal thoughts.
How are eating disorders formed?
No eating disorder is formed from a single cause. We do know that there are multiple risk factors that make it more likely someone will develop an eating disorder.
For example, someone with any kind of eating disorder is more likely to have a negative body perception, or may live in an environment that is more conducive to eating disorders (such as having a family member with a history of eating disorders).
How do we treat eating disorders?
Eating disorders should be treated through an interdisciplinary approach. Ideally, the treatment team should include a medical doctor, a psychiatrist, dietitian, and therapist. Education and involvement of the family and other support networks is crucial. Further, the treatment focus should be holistic, involving physical and emotional matters. Recovering from an eating disorder requires you to be grounded in a feeling of self-worth and not necessarily having a perfect body shape.
Psychotherapy, medications, and nutritional counseling can all be used to treat eating disorders, and ideally in combination. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help identify and deal with thought patterns contributing to a poor self-image and eating disorder. Medication can treat the symptoms of eating disorders. Nutritional counseling can provide diet guidance to improve the symptoms of your eating disorder towards recovery.
Find an NYC eating disorder therapist at Integrative Psych
Integrative Psych is an NYC-based private practice which specializes in treating eating disorders. Our clients are based in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan (Chelsea, Village, Lower East Side, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Tribeca, SoHo), Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut, but our clinicians are licensed to treat anyone in the state of New York.
We take a compassionate, comprehensive and holistic approach to eating disorder diagnosis and treatment at Integrative Psych. Here, we will carefully examine all aspects of your eating disorder.
When making recommendations, treatment will be personalized. Incorporating many types of therapy, treatment will aim to involve all relevant parties such as dieticians, other doctors, family members, and other support networks.
Decisions about what treatment or treatments to pursue for you are made as a team, between you and your eating disorder therapist. Once you have begun care with us, we will see you regularly to monitor your progress and make any adjustments necessary to ensure that you benefit fully from your treatment at Integrative Psych.
Obtain therapy and treatment for your eating disorder today, if you are ready to:
- Understand your eating disorder
- Develop a treatment and recovery plan for your eating disorder
- Have the support of a trusted expert with extensive experience with treating eating disorders
At Integrative Psych, we are your premier destination for integrative and evidence-based therapy in New York City. Our team of experienced and compassionate therapists specializes in a wide range of mental health services, tailored to meet your unique needs. Whether you are seeking assistance with psychodynamic therapy nyc, bipolar disorder nyc, high-functioning anxiety nyc, complex PTSD nyc, or any other mental health concerns, we are here to support you on your healing journey.
We have therapists who specialize in addiction therapy nyc and eating disorder therapy in NYC. Our evidence-based approaches, combined with our therapists' expertise, aim to help individuals overcome addiction and develop a healthy relationship with food. Additionally, our trauma therapists nyc utilize trauma-focused therapies to help individuals heal from past traumatic experiences and move towards greater resilience and well-being.