Eating Disorder Counseling

Written by Rachel Arieff
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Eating disorder counseling can help men and women, boys and girls to overcome problems of compulsive behavior surrounding the issues of food and self-esteem. Eating disorders vary, ranging from anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa to overeating, binge eating, and even compulsive exercise.

Eating disorders aren't simply food fixations. They're complex psychological problems that require eating disorder counseling to understand and overcome. However, eating disorders often form around issues of self esteem and control. As society continues to define attractiveness according to narrow standards (thinness and conformity to images in fashion magazines), the dissonance between the ideal and one's personal reality will continue to manifest itself in self esteem problems.

Getting Eating Disorder Counseling

Eating disorders are nearly always the result of low self esteem, combined with other concerns unique to the individual. For example, people with anorexia suffer from low self esteem combined with extreme anxiety and the need to control both their emotions and their environment. The fear of eating is actually a reaction to stress caused by their environment (for instance, family troubles and an image-obsessed culture) and one's own internal conflicts (feelings of worthlessness and fear of being rejected).

Eating disorder counseling, preferably in the form of psychotherapy, is of utmost importance. For eating disorders, left untreated, can cause permanent physical and mental damage; even death. One surprise to many people is the fact that more men suffer from eating disorders than previously thought. This could be either because more men are engaging in this behavior today than in the past, or because more men are reporting the problem. Either way, eating disorders are not confined to any one group, be it men or women, child or adult, and they continue to be a problem for modern society that deserves attention.

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