If you’re preoccupied with weight loss, food, and negative body image to a degree that makes it hard for you to really focus on other aspects of your life, like your professional development or your personal goals, your mental health is involved as well as your physical health.
Eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia can leave lasting negative impacts on your physical health. There’s also a mental health component to eating disorders. Mental health conditions can put you at higher risk of developing an eating disorder, and the stress of living with an eating disorder can also harm your mental health.
At Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates, LLC, Dr. Ronald P. Winfield and our team of psychiatric and mental health specialists understand the complex connection between eating disorders and mental health conditions.
We provide counseling and psychotherapy services that can help you recover from your eating disorder from our location in North Chelmsford, Massachusetts.
Understanding eating disorders
An eating disorder is any form of unhealthy preoccupation with food, health, or weight. Eating disorders don’t come with a standard gender, look, background, or body. Anyone can deal with an eating disorder at any point in life. However, women in the United States are statistically more likely to suffer from eating disorders.
Some people with eating disorders restrict food and starve themselves. This disorder is known as anorexia nervosa. Others suffer from bulimia nervosa, a condition typically characterized by binge and purge cycles. And, some people binge eat as a form of disordered eating, or obsess over specific diets due to orthorexia, an unhealthy focus on healthy eating.
Mental health disorders associated with eating disorders
Mental health issues can be a cause of eating disorders. If you suffer from low self-esteem, have prior traumatic experiences like neglect, or are living with a substance abuse disorder, your relationship with food and healthy body image can be deeply damaged, resulting in an eating disorder.
Eating disorders co-occurring with other mental health issues like anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention disorders, or substance abuse may need a specialized diagnosis to better guide your treatment and recovery.
Mental health impacts of eating disorders
Even if your mental health was strong before your eating disorder, conditions like anorexia and bulimia can harm your emotional well-being and mental stability. Anorexia often results in emotional issues with irritability or flat affect, as well as social withdrawal and intense anxiety around being seen eating. Bulimia often causes low self-esteem and emotions of shame and loss of control.
Eating disorders tend to isolate you from friends and loved ones, as you grow increasingly secretive, anxious, and private about your relationship with food and your eating habits. Extreme diets that harshly limit your food options can be socially restricting, as well.
Treatment for eating and mental health disorders
At Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates, LLC, our providers focus on an integrative, holistic approach that looks at every aspect of your mental health, including co-occurring problems like eating disorders.
We can help you understand the relationship between your mental health struggles and your unhealthy approach to food, and work with you to establish healthier habits that can fully restore your mental health. You may benefit from psychotherapy treatment for your emotional and mental health, including specific approaches like:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Psychodynamic therapy
- Medication management for underlying mental health conditions
For support with mental health and eating disorders, get in touch with Dr. Winfield and the team of mental health counseling and psychotherapy experts at Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates today.
Book your appointment online or call now to schedule your session with one of our experienced and compassionate providers.