Is the Media to Blame?

Media_Portrayal_of_Eating_DisordersThe British charity organization, BEAT, currently supporting the National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, have appealed for new guidelines to be adopted to change the way eating disorders are portrayed in the media. While BEAT is recognizing the fact that coverage has become less punitive and more accurate in recent years, BEAT believe that media images used to portray the illness continue to be stereotypical and consequently distorting people’s perception of what an eating disorder is. BEAT contend that extreme images are unhelpful to individuals attempting to recover from an eating disorder and that these images perpetuate the notion that eating disorders are only about extreme thinness.

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Tell Tale Signs of Compulsive Overeating

Overeating_Downward_SpiralThis year the National Eating Disorder Awareness organization has invited everyone interested to do Just one Thing in order to raise awareness about the illness. Continuing our commitment and contribution towards this noble cause, today’s blog release is building on yesterday’s blog on the tell tale signs of Bulimia Nervosa, in the hope that this will serve to highlight some of the attitudes, behaviors, and pressures that shape the disorder.

Understanding and admitting that you have a problem with Compulsive Overeating is the first vital step towards seeking help and obtaining the appropriate treatment. This is, in itself, an important milestone, and we appreciate how difficult it can be. For many, feelings of shame and denial often hinder early intervention, and in some cases lack of understanding of the symptoms that accompany Compulsive Overeating, can result in the condition going undiagnosed unnecessarily.

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Tell Tale Signs of Bulimia Nervosa

Eating_Disorder_RecoveryThis year the National Eating Disorder Awareness organization has invited everyone interested to do Just one Thing in order to raise awareness about the illness. Continuing our commitment and contribution towards this noble cause, today’s blog release builds on yesterday’s blog of the tell tale signs of Anorexia Nervosa, in the hope that this will serve to highlight some of the attitudes, behaviors, and pressures that shape the disorder.

Understanding and admitting that you have a problem with Bulimia is the first vital step towards seeking help and obtaining the appropriate treatment. This is, in itself, an important milestone, and we appreciate how difficult it can be. For many, feelings of denial and shame often hinder early intervention, and in some cases lack of understanding of the symptoms that accompany Bulimia, can result in the condition going undiagnosed unnecessarily.

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Tell Tale Signs of Anorexia Nervosa

anorexia-nervosaThis year the National Eating Disorder Awareness organization has invited everyone interested to do Just one Thing in order to raise awareness about the illness. Continuing our commitment and contribution towards this noble cause, today’s blog release is building on yesterday’s blog on the topic of GPs missing the diagnosis of eating disorders in the UK, in the hope that this will serve to highlight some of the attitudes, behaviors, and pressures that shape the disorder.

Understanding and admitting that you have a problem with Anorexia is the first vital step towards seeking help and obtaining the appropriate treatment. This is, in itself, an important milestone, and we appreciate how difficult it can be. For many, feelings of denial and fear often hinder early intervention, and in some cases lack of understanding of the symptoms that accompany anorexia, can result in the condition going undiagnosed unnecessarily.

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The Diagnosis of Eating Disorders

 

eating-disorder

The Diagnosis of Eating Disorders


BBC Newsbeat today featured an article on the topic of GPs missing the diagnosis of eating disorders in the UK. The article comments on a survey conducted by the charity run organization, BEAT, which reports that 9 out of 10 people in touch with the organization feel that their GP demonstrated a lack of understanding of the disorder and how to treat, support and help those suffering from eating disorders. According to BEAT, many GPs would benefit from increasing their awareness of this life threatening disorder, in order to ensure better diagnosis and earlier intervention.

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Mindfulness

 

MindfulnessMindfulness


When was the last time you truly noticed the feel of the water on your body whilst taking a shower? Or really savoured your food, noticing the many flavours and the various textures? For most of us, the majority of our daily tasks are carried out without any noticing of the sensory richness of these, somewhat mundane tasks. For many, food is consumed in front of the TV or computer, or on the go, - and the shower routine has become the ideal place to plan the day ahead, think about meetings, or daydream. On reflection the answer that comes up for many of us is that we rarely truly notice and pay attention. The implication of living a life on autopilot, busy entertaining thoughts concerning the future or the past, is that we may never be where we actually are.

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Resources, Resilience, and Emotional Maturity

Resources, Resilience, and Emotional Maturity

 

Emotional_Maturity

If invited to reflect on the state you were in when you made the decision to seek help and begin your recovery, the word that best fits may be ‘bankruptcy’, - sheer exhaustion manifesting itself cognitively, emotionally and physically. Prior to recovery it may have felt as if no resources were available to us, and that we were lost and defeated. But perhaps feeling defeated is a vital prerequisite for desiring change and wanting recovery. As the saying goes ‘One needs to surrender in order to win’.

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Bulimia: In a Man's World

 

Bulimia: In a Man's World


Mens_BulimiaEating Disorders are often seen as an issue only women have to face, that men are safe from the dangerous behavioural traps that can destroy families and lives. However this is a myth and men are at just as a significant risk of suffering from Eating Disorders, especially Bulimia.

Recently, Sam Attwater of Eastenders disclosed that he was bullied as a child due to his weight. He became trapped in a cycle of overeating, as his bullying led to depression and to ‘deal’ with it he turned to food. As the overeating behaviour took over, his weight increased and only offered more fuel for the other children to bully him with. As his self-loathing built up his bulimia took over and he began to purge after eating and exercise compulsively.

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Self Images as Diagnostic Tools?

 

Self Images as Diagnostic Tools?


Body DismorphiaIt has long been acknowledged that art when combined with therapy offers a powerful therapeutic form of nonverbal communication that is particularly useful in the treatment of eating disorders, where cognitive defenses can be strong. In a recent publication it has been revealed that women, prone to developing an eating disorder or currently suffering from one, draw themselves with prominently different characteristics than do women of normal weight and with no eating disorder. Consequently this has been identified as a useful diagnostic tool. This has been revealed in a new joint study from the University of Haifa, Soroka University Medical Center and Achva Academic College, Israel, published in The Arts in Psychotherapy. "

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Can you be addicted to love?

Addicted to love

For the majority of people, the word "love" represents a feeling of warmth and closeness; often, it invokes the ideas of family, home, comfort, and security. It can be difficult to understand how someone can become addicted to love, and what a love addiction is, precisely. When someone falls in love, there is an initial rush of intense feelings: the other person fills their thoughts, they spend periods of time daydreaming, they recall pleasant memories of the loved one over and over. In a healthy relationship, this encourages the evolution of the couple's bond by retaining their interest in and fondness for one another while true intimacy and a lasting love evolves.

For a love addict, they feel a distinct need to constantly be enveloped in those intense feelings and crave an instant connection with their beloved. Often, they are seeking "the One" who will make them feel utterly complete. They may rapidly go through sequential relationships, never knowing what their true needs are, and placing increasing demands on their lovers to fulfil the wants they have conflated with their needs. Their addiction to love is often combined with other obsessive behaviours and risk taking. Eventually, things will crumble around them and they will be left amidst the rubble of broken relationships and broken hearts. Many love addicts have very low self-esteem and they only experience feelings of self-worth inside of a relationship. They may have experienced childhood neglect, abuse, and rejection and think that they can only be considered "good" if someone loves them. This sort of relationship becomes codependent almost immediately, and the addict can seem to begin disappearing into their partner, shedding their personality and anything they feel sets them apart from their lover, in search of a deeper connection. Their depression, anxiety, and fear of abandonment creates erratic behaviours, and the inability to create the "perfect" relationship or be the "perfect" lover can cause them to question their core beliefs or their lives. They are also at risk of attaching to an abuser because they fear what will happen if that person ceases to "love" them -- their terror at being alone is greater than any fear that happens within the relationship. When things begin to fall apart for anyone suffering from an addiction, they can enter a very dangerous mindset or state in which they may be harmful to themselves or to others. It is crucial that they receive help before they slip farther down the spiral. If help is sought with Life Works, a healing plan will be created that includes treating any medical, psychiatric, and psychological issues, and working carefully together to uncover the true reasons for compulsive behaviours and why the person with the addiction feels so empty, and why they must fill themselves with the approval and love of others. Focus is placed on new, healthy coping strategies, and helping the patient create positive relationships and friendships with others. They are also taught how to find value and completeness in themselves.

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Am I an Overeater?

Am I am Overeater?

Compulsive overeating disorder is described as a food addiction where individuals who have uncontrollable eating or bingeing, while feeling anxious or out of control. Often they will consume large amounts of food, well past the feeling of being full which is usually followed with feelings of depression and guilt. Unlike other eating disorders, compulsive eaters do not try to counterbalance this behaviour with purging activities such as vomiting or using laxatives.

Compulsive Overeating Symptoms

Compulsive eating disorder is a serious illness that without treatment, will progress over time. There are some telltale signs of this disorder to help identify if you or a loved one may be suffering from compulsive overeating. These include:

Eating that becomes uncontrollable, even when not hungry. This behaviour may cause an individual to miss work or stop participating in activities they once enjoyed. They may even awakening during the night to eat.

 

A preoccupation with food and body weight. These symptoms can manifest as discussing exercise and diet excessively, going out to buy food no matter what time of day or hiding food from others.

 

Feelings of shame and guilt after overeating. Although these feelings occur, it does not stop the compulsion. Mood swings and depression may be present as these symptoms are often associated with underlying causes for the compulsive eating disorder.Health Risks

Overeating disorder is a potential minefield both physiologically, and psychologically with serious consequences for the sufferer if the disorder it left untreated. Physiologically overeating disorder can easily cause obesity which can lead to physical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes. Psychologically overeaters struggle with their feelings of disgust, guilt and depression as they worry about what this behaviour is doing to their bodies. They desperately want to stop overeating but feel powerless over this, and thus they may turn to substance abuse to relief their pain or become seriously depressed with suicidal thoughts.

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Addiction and Detox of Diazepam

Diazepam_Tablets

Diazepam - Addiction and Detox


Diazepam is the generic drug better known by the brand name Valium. Valium is categorized as a benzodiazepine, making it useful for several different medical conditions. The same properties that make it useful for so many legitimate psychological and physiological disorders give it a high potential for abuse. Valium addiction can be very devastating not only for the abuser, but for the friends and family of the abuser. Most people who are addicted to diazempam find they are helpless to stop using the drug under their own willpower. Studies show that the best chances of recovery come from a private rehabilitation detox center such as Life Works.

Diazepam - The Drug

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Commitment to Recovery

Commitment_to_recovery

Commitment to yourself and your recovery is vitally important, as breaking that commitment can lead to self-loathing, loss of trust and the conviction in yourself.

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Eating Disorders, Art and Therapy

bulimia_art_therapyArt based psychotherapy's use of non-verbal forms of expression, for example, colours, shapes, textures and sounds, to help our clients connect with issues that may reside in the unconscious mind and therefore be difficult for clients to access. This can be a valuable opportunity to get in touch with feelings which may be difficult to articulate with words.

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Forgiveness in Recovery

forgiveness_in_recovery"There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love." - Bryant H. McGill

Forgiveness is an inherent aspect of our humanity. Forgiveness of self and forgiveness of others are inescapable aspects of life, yet for those on the journey of recovery the act of forgiving can prove very challenging.

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Family Roles in Addiction

Family_Roles_in_AddictionFamily Roles


Often family members take on roles within a family that is exposed to behavioural health and addiction problems. They do this to cope, to reduce the stress that the dependent individual is causing for themselves and their loved ones. Whilst these coping mechanisms appear to work to the family, it is actually these traits that help enable the dependent individual’s destructive behaviour.

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Addiction: Is it a moral failing?

Addiction_-_Neuroscience_morality_of_addictionAddiction: Is it a moral failing?


When we see the destructive behaviour and painful consequences of someone with addiction (whether it be to alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, food, etc.), it is difficult not to see them as immoral or bad.  Morality in a nutshell is defined as choosing to conform to social norms and behaviour.  Thus, for an addict not to be immoral, it would require that the addict has no choice over their behaviour.

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Denial

denialDenial and Addiction


Has anyone ever told you, “You’re only fooling yourself?” If so, they were informally telling you that you were in denial about a particular event of belief.  Denial is an important part of behavioural health issues and addictions. It creates problems for those people who have a drug addiction, alcohol dependence, compulsive eating disorder, or are dependent on others through sex and relationships.

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