Everybody Knows Somebody
As much as we can joke that we'd like to have "a little bit of anorexia," what many people don't know is anorexia nervosa is just as deadly as cancer. In fact, it has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness. Eating disorders are very serious, deadly diseases that impact those affected on a daily, hourly and sometimes moment to moment basis. They are debilitating illnesses that sometimes feel impossible to overcome, and it's important to recognize the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape the disorder.
If you or someone you care about can relate to the following statements, you should think about consulting with a professional:
- I'm always on or off a diet.
- I feel out of control when I eat and unable to stop myself.
- I spend most of my day planning out my food.
- I make a lot of food for other people but will not allow myself to eat it.
- I sometimes make myself sick after I eat because I'm uncomfortably full.
- I don't trust myself around food.
- I know if I eat normally, I am going to gain weight.
- I get really anxious if I miss my workout.
- I always feel fat.
- I've cut out a lot of foods (starches, fats, sugars, carbs) in order to eat "healthy."
- I weigh myself daily, and the number determines my mood.
- I have lost more than five pounds this month.
- I think I need help, but I'm not thin enough to have an eating disorder.
Seeking out professional help is one of the healthiest ways to take care of yourself. Seeing a therapist doesn't make you a "crazy" person…but, refusing to see one might! Therapists can help you make sense of family/relationship issues, cope with feelings of anxiety/depression or learn how to manage your stress better. If you are using food or exercise as a way to cope with your feelings, or you know someone who is, gently encourage them to take care of themselves and find a more effective way to deal with life. Because Everybody Knows Somebody.
Dr. Lyndsay Elliott is one of Southern California's most prominent psychologists in her field of expertise. Dr. Lyndsay maintains her clinical practice in Newport Beach, California. As a food and body image expert for the last 15 years, Dr. Lyndsay is known for her breakthrough work with children, teens and young adults. She particularly enjoys consulting with parents to help develop a healthy self-image for their children. Dr. Lyndsay empowers individuals with her ease, strength and experience, ultimately propelling her patients into a new arena of growth, control and balanced living. Check out Dr. Lyndsay's daily tips and blog at www.DrLyndsayElliott.com, on Twitter @DrLyndsay and Facebook at Dr. LyndsayElliott, Inc.