CBT for Anorexia (And Eating Disorders)April 25, 2022 2022-04-26 22:38
CBT for Anorexia (And Eating Disorders)
Anna noticed that her friend sally was getting thinner day by day. Sally had stopped eating her lunch. She stopped getting her lunch box. Moreover, she drank very little water during the day. Her weight was far below the recommended body weight. Anna realised that sally was showing symptoms of an eating disorder-Anorexia Disorder. That is to say, it is a disorder is when a person doesn’t eat enough to maintain a healthy body weight. This article deals with CBT for anorexia and CBT for eating disorders.
Chapter 1:What Are the Symptoms of Anorexia?
Before understanding the treatment, let us look at the disorder closely.
- People have a fear of becoming fat and going out of shape. They are underweight and cannot maintain a healthy Body mass index for their age and height.
- Moreover, people refuse to eat and drink water even though they are very underweight.
- They suffer from very low self-esteem. They often suffer from emotional problems.
- People with this disorder are in denial. They cannot accept that their body is medically underweight.
This disorder involves a lack of proper nutrition. In this condition people often face malnutrition. People have a very thin and pale bodies. They also suffer from dehydration, low immunity, stomach aches, low blood pressure and serious medical issues. Let us understand the causes of anorexia. Knowledge of the causes helps us understand CBT for anorexia better.
Chapter 2:What Causes Anorexia?
This disorder occurs when a person has unrealistic goals of having a ‘thin body’. They feel that an ideal body is a size zero body. Our media represents a thin body as lovely. In some professions such as acting or sports, a thin body is preferred. Even in modelling, people like to look at a thin body. In CBT for anorexia, people are taught to have realistic hopes.
Some people have trauma from childhood. This includes fat-shaming in childhood. Some parents force girls to stay thin and lean. This is so she can find a suitable match for herself. Moreover, in youth Children going through changes can become insecure with their bodies. They will start unhealthy diet routines to reduce their body weight. In CBT for eating disorders, these thoughts are challenged.
Even stressful life events can be a cause of under-eating. When you are under a lot of stress, eating helps you cope with the pressure. Similarly, if you are going through a major life event such as college or marriage, it can be stressful. You may forget to eat or under-eat.
Some people may have a need for perfectionism. They might want their body to look a certain way. They may start under-eating to control their body weight.
Chapter 3:CBT for Anorexia
The treatment for Anorexia has three major aspects:
Firstly it involves helping the person restore lost weight. This is an important step because the person can face serious medical problems due to low weight. In this step, essential nutrients and vitamins are given. This helps the person gain the lost strength.
Secondly, therapy is given to the person. Therapy focuses on changing irrational beliefs. Thoughts that are negative are the target of the therapy.
Finally, the goal is to help the person achieve a full recovery. The therapist helps them maintain a healthy weight. Follow up is crucial.
Chapter 4:What Is CBT?
CBT is an evidence-based therapy for various behaviour problems. It involves many techniques. It focuses on changing the negative thoughts behind a behaviour. CBT targets the core belief of a person. Moreover, it helps the person to understand their patterns of thoughts. CBT is considered very helpful in treating eating disorders. Since an eating disorder is a combination of behavioural and cognitive issues, CBT is useful.
Here is a list of some CBT techniques:
- Identifying negative automatic thoughts
- Setting goals
- Learning helpful ways of coping