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Eating disorders tend to permeate through all aspects of life and have profound effects on the quality of life and the lives of loved ones. Having an eating problem is more than just being on a diet.
People with eating disorders use food and eating to control life and their perception of it. The goal is often to lose weight, with no concern for the method or severity of the weight loss. People with eating disorders often believe that losing weight is the key to their happiness, and once the weight is lost they will feel better and others will respond to them better. They feel as though the weight is holding them back from experiences and are convinced that their self-esteem is dependent on how they look and what they weigh.
Eating disorders are about attempting to control your life and emotions through food or lack of food.
The person affected by Anorexia may be extremely sensitive about being perceived as fat, either by themselves or by others. They may also be extremely fearful of gaining weight. Not all people affected by anorexia have this fear, often they are afraid to lose control over the amounts they eat, accompanied by the intense desire to control their emotions and reactions to their emotions through lack of food.
They will turn to obsessive dieting and starvation as a way to not only control their weight but their feelings and actions. Some also feel that they might not deserve pleasure out of life and will deprive themselves of pleasure this pleasure through starvation.
Bulimia is defined by bingeing and purging episodes. That is: eating large quantities of food in a relatively short period of time, and then inducing vomiting or taking laxatives. This is often accompanied by being overwhelmed in coping with emotion or feeling guilty and deserving of punishment.
Binging and purging can be used to avoid or release anger, depression, stress or anxiety. Some also use excessive exercise or starvation following a binge instead of purging; it is also not uncommon to take diet pills to avoid bingeing or use diuretics to lose weight. Those with Bulimia often store large amounts of food in anticipation of bingeing and hide it from their loved ones.
Compulsive overeating is defined as a “dependence” on food. Those who compulsively overeat use food as a way to hide or distract themselves from emotions or to cope with daily stress. Often, this emotion and stress come as a result of low self-esteem due to being overweight. This starts a vicious cycle which is very difficult to break.
Dr Koller assists his patients in breaking this cycle by helping them develop healthier ways of managing their stress and emotions. He guides his patients through the causes and symptoms of their eating disorders and aids them in regaining their self-esteem and control of their feelings.
It is important to remember that most eating disorders through their signs and symptoms might be different, but they do share a great number of common causes. Low self-esteem is inherently present in all eating disorders.