Copyright © 2012-16 | Shelley L. Heusser

Shelley Heusser

Clinical Psychologist

BSocSc Psych. (UCT), BA. Hons Psych. (UCT), MA. Clin. Psych. (NMMU)

Practice No: 0445800  Reg No: 0112860

Eating Disorders

If   your   thoughts   revolve   around   food   or   the   way   you   look,   and   this   is   affecting   the   way   you   eat   -   you   may   be   at   risk of   developing   an   eating   disorder.   Some   professionals   use   a   questionnaire   called   SCOFF   to   help   them   assess eating disorders. The questions include: Sick - Do you even make yourself sick because you feel uncomfortably full? Control - Do you worry that you have lost control when it comes to the amount you eat? One Stone - Have you recently lost more than one stone in a three-month period? Fat - Do you think you are fat even though others say you are thin? Food - Would you say that food dominates your life? This   is   generally   used   as   a   guide,   however   more   thorough   discussions   with   a   psychologist   would   need   to   take place   before   a   diagnosis   can   be   made.   If   you   are   worried   about   your   relationship   with   food   at   all,   seeking   help early could help you from developing an eating disorder in the future. There   are   many   different   theories   as   to   what   causes   eating   disorders.   There   is   not   one   single   cause   -   there   are usually   a   variety   of   factors   at   play.   They   generally   occur   because   people   develop   a   complicated   relationship   with food   or   their   bodies   that   may   result   in   compulsive   exercising   and   overeating   or   undereating,   rather   than   allowing appetite and hunger to dictate one’s eating cycles. There   are   thought   to   be   certain   risk   factors   that   can   make   someone   more   likely   to   develop   an   eating   disorder,   and these include: a family history of eating disorders, substance abuse or depression being criticised for eating habits, weight or body shape feeling a pressure to stay slim within a job role (for example models, ballet dancers or athletes) having certain personality traits experiencing early trauma or loss, having turbulent relationships with friends or family members There are several different types of eating disorders, each with their own signs and symptoms. Anorexia   nervosa   –   In   this   eating   disorder,   the   sufferer   feels   overweight   even   though   they   may   be   considerably underweight.   A   desire   to   lose   weight   causes   the   sufferer   to   skip   meals,   starve   themselves   and/or   exercise excessively. Bulimia   nervosa   -   Similar   to   anorexia,   bulimia   sufferers   also   have   a   desire   to   lose   weight,   which   is   achieved   by bingeing on food and then purging - either by making themselves sick or using laxatives. Binge-eating   disorder   and   compulsive   eating   –   This   refers   to   behaviour   that   makes   sufferers   feel   compelled   to overeat as a way of dealing with difficult emotions. If   left   untreated,   eating   disorders   become   detrimental   to   one’s   physical   health.   If   you   are   searching   for   help   for   an eating   disorder,   it   may   feel   confusing   to   determine   where   to   start.   Given   the   complexities   of   eating   disorders,   it   is essential   to   seek   out   someone   who   specialises   in   the   treatment   of   eating   disorders   and   other   compulsive behaviours. Specialists in this field will have experience in dealing with the issues that lie behind eating disorders.
Copyright © 2012-15 | Shelley L. Heusser

Shelley Heusser

Clinical Psychologist

BSocSc Psych. (UCT), BA. Hons Psych. (UCT), MA. Clin. Psych. (NMMU)

Practice No: 0445800  Reg No: 0112860