Food Addiction Counseling

Compulsive over and under eating are both Food Addiction disorders. As such, they represent potentially life-threatening health conditions that can be treated.   Most sufferers will attest to the fact that the quality of life is severely diminished when they are behaving compulsively. The physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences can be life diminishing for the victim and his/her loved ones. We believe that diet plans and behavior modification strategies in and of themselves are grossly insufficient. The Leadem Counseling & Consulting Services staff is trained in using the 12 Step approach to Food Addiction to promote recovery at a physical, emotional, and spiritual level.

Eating Disorders Defined

What is an eating disturbance or disorder?

An eating disorder can be life threatening and life diminishing in much the same way that Alcoholism and other addictive disorders injure the body, mind, and spirit of the victims. We must eat to survive. Total abstinence, as we understand it in other addictive disorders, is an impossibility. For those suffering with compulsive overeating, the portion is always too small. The compulsive under-eater fears becoming fat and the compulsive over-eater fears hunger. Both eaters are deprived emotionally and spiritually and view their control over food as the solution.

Who develops eating disturbances and disorders?

Eating disorders are found in all populations, neighborhoods, age brackets, and economic classes. There is no discrimination. They occur in both sexes and while more women might be diagnosed with an eating disorder, it would appear that men are equally susceptible.

Why do people develop eating disturbances and disorders?

There are as many different theories to answer this question as there are flavors of ice cream. The truth is we really do not know why. Science may give us reliable data to explain the development in the years to come but for today we can only theorize. We believe that eating disorders have physical, emotional, and spiritual components that must all be addressed in the course of recovery if the sufferer is to know freedom.

What are the signs of an eating disturbance or disorder?

Some common physical, emotional, and spiritual signs are:

  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Menstrual cycle irregularities
  • Dental problems (such as loss of enamel)
  • Unexplained dizzy or fainting episodes
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Facial swelling
  • Preoccupation or distorted body image
    (when overweight seeing self as thin beneath a layer of clothes; when thin seeing fat that others do not see)
  • Dehydration
  • Preoccupation with food
  • Eating consumes a great deal of time
  • Consumed with calorie counting
  • Obsessive fear of eating foods that contain fat
  • Lost in a constant dream of “diet cures”
  • Overwhelming fear of gaining weight
  • Avoiding situations where food is served
  • Needing to weigh oneself frequently
  • Purging behaviors through the use of: vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, exercise, enemas, starvation
  • Loss of hope for gaining control over weight, food, or body
  • Social and emotional withdrawal related to body image
  • Low self-esteem, agitation, depression, and mood swings associated with weight gain or loss

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