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Eating Disorders - Anorexia - Stoke on Trent

Anorexia Treatment (In Stoke & Online Nationwide)

Anorexia Nervosa is often associated primarily with females although it is estimated that around one in ten sufferers is male. Anorexia sufferers have an obsessive fear of weight gain and often experience a distorted view of their body. This can lead to other psychological disorders where obsession and/or distortion make up the foundation.

Although it could be perceived that an Anorexia sufferer is 'in control' (on account of them choosing what and when they eat), it could be argued that it is an overwhelming state of anxiety that actually dictates their decisions. The obsessive fear of weight-gain, particularly when coupled with body dysmorphia, tends to overwrite the sufferers sense of reason. Unfortunately this leads to Anorexia having the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder.

 

The Truth About Your Anorexia

OK, enough of the science speak. You know as well as we do that food and eating aren't the real problem. You'll almost certainly have discovered by now that friends, loved ones and even the medical profession are all focused on calories, nutrition and getting you to eat more. They'll tell you how you're too thin, how dangerous it is and how by eating 'just a little more' it will help. We understand they mean well but also that their advice isn't really helping.

Anorexics tend to be intellectually bright and as a result of this can commonly over-think things. They tend to go over and over the same thought processes, particularly where feelings of anxiety and dissatisfaction occur. So, if you're unhappy about something it follows that such thoughts go over and over in your mind - each time adding to the anxiety you feel.

The anxiety many (but not all) anorexia sufferers experience is down to how they feel about themselves and often with respect to the way they look. We are psychologically hard-wired to avoid anxiety so the anorexia sufferer takes action to change things through their behaviour. Thus if a sufferer perceives themselves as fat, unattractive or unlikable they can reduce their intake of food and increase their exercise levels in order to lose weight. The goal being to physically change their appearance in order to become more attractive/likeable but also to escape the feelings of anxiety.

As the behaviour continues (and weight related physical changes take place) the sufferer begins to realise at a subconscious level that they have taken control. These feelings of being in control are in stark contrast to the previous feelings of anxiety (and having no control). Hence, benefit is felt and a cycle of behaviour driven by the belief "when I lose weight I'm in control" develops.

In order to avoid returning to the crushing levels of anxiety they felt previously, the sufferer continues to focus on weight-loss and the goal of becoming more attractive and likeable. Although some residual anxiety remains when the sufferer looks in the mirror, this acts as a motivator to continue along the weight loss path. The more the sufferer walks the path - the more in control they feel.

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Where The Anorexia Path Leads

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The feelings driving the anorexia sufferer to achieve their goal are typically greater than those of their own self preservation. It's important you realise this. A human is physically engineered in such a way that the body can only function for a given amount of time without adequate nutrition and fuel. Your mind can run pretty much indefinitely with respect to motivating you to behave in a certain way - but inevitably your body will fail. People in general will not find you attractive or likeable when you become a self-centred liability who can no longer look after yourself.

You probably didn't expect to read anything like this written by people who are here to help. However, the real help you need is to realise that the security you experience from feeling in control through anorexia is illusionary. All you're doing is replacing crushing anxiety with a destructive behaviour which gives you temporary respite. We understand that in many cases this is a positive trade off - but it's never a genuine solution.

Let's face it - when you're losing weight you're feeling satisfied because you believe you're getting closer to your goal. The more you lose the closer you become to feeling attractive and likeable. If you step on the scales and you've lost a couple of pounds you feel a temporary high knowing you're still progressing. However, the high quickly passes and unless you lose more weight the anxiety of not being good enough returns to haunt you. The satisfaction is gained and the anxiety is kept at bay only through progress. If your weight stays static (no matter what it is) the feelings of anxiety quickly become unbearable demanding ever more progress.

You will NEVER reach the point of satisfaction through anorexia. You believe you will, but the evidence is there to see within your own behaviour. If you are anorexic you are stuck in the cycle of 'more wants more' and you will never reach the point where you can say - "I feel attractive and likeable". Your belief that looking in the mirror one morning to find everything is suddenly OK or reaching satisfaction at a certain point on the weighing scales is nothing but a myth!

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Getting What You Want Without Anorexia

So far we've discussed how anorexia works and specifically how it's driven by (avoiding) anxiety and gives an illusionary sense of control to the sufferer. But let's put anorexia to one side for a moment.

What happened before things started getting out of hand?

  • Did you want to be more popular?
  • Did you feel pressurised to be or look a certain way?
  • Did you simply feel unattractive or that you weren't good enough?
  • Did something happen to upset you?

It's quite possible that several (or perhaps all) of the above are true for you to some degree or other. However, let us ask you a straight question.

How did you know things weren't right?

There's only one way we can know anything like that and it's through feelings (or emotional responses). Basically the mind works with images (in your minds eye) and internal dialogue (the voice in your head). The images and internal dialogue use a kind of software to process information which in turn generates feelings. You see, feelings are basically the yardstick of our experience telling us right from wrong, good from bad and nice from nasty. If you felt unpopular, pressurised, unattractive, not good enough or upset - it's down to the way you processed the information and nothing more.

Let us give you a classic example. When you look at yourself in the mirror what does your internal dialogue (the voice in your head) say to you? Also what does the voice sound like - is is happy or judgemental in tonality?

So, does the voice say unpleasant things in a judgemental tone... and does that make you feel bad about yourself?

Are you starting to realise that the anxiety and discontent you suffer is not about how you are physically? It's about how you perceive yourself through your thought processes.

Your problem is almost certainly in the way you process information. Limiting what you eat and exercising in order to lose weight is NOT going to change the way you perceive yourself. The problem isn't anything to do with your physicality - that's just where you've focused your attention in order to try to escape the anxiety.

You can feel attractive and likeable really easily - you just need the right help from the right people. We're not here to push you, convince you or force you to change - that has to be your decision. If you want to be slim that's fine by us. I (the writer of this section) am 5'10" and 8 stone wet through... and I'm a man! I'm not anorexic I'm just really slim and comfortable with it. You can be slim and attractive without being anorexic and having all the anxiety, control issues and potential danger that goes with it.

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What To Do Now...

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If you've read this far you're probably serious about recovery - which is a positive step to take. You've sought out the information you need, gained an understanding of how things work and now you've found the specialists to help you to recover.

The next step is for you to contact us. You can be assured that all we'll do on your call is to talk briefly about your condition and book you in for a no obligation, risk free consultation. Our contact number is 01782 855585.

If you live in or near Stoke on Trent you can find further information on how our face to face consultations work, our fees and our satisfaction money-back guarantee here: Face to Face Consultations

If you live further afield where travelling to our Clinic in person would be unfeasible, but you'd still like to work with us - we offer Online (Skype) Appointments with the exact same specialised Consultants: Online Consultations

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