Welcome to Mom Please Help

This blog is for all eating disorder sufferers, where they can get help and useful information. It is run by William Webster BA. For Karen Phillips.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

How to Cure Eating Disorders

How to Cure Eating Disorders.

By Dr Irina Webster

I have been searching for a great treatment to cure Eating Disorders for a long time because I have a close friend whose daughter Amy suffered badly from Anorexia and then Bulimia.

If you’ve been interested in finding the answer regarding a cure for an Eating Disorders then this article will help you. You know that eating disorders are conditions brought on when a person associate food e.g.: refusing to eat or on the contrary compulsive overeating and throwing up, with a feeling of being in control, pleasure, truth, confidence etc.

To explain more: the person associates all their good positive feelings, control, pleasure, truth and self-confidence with food. They feel reassured by the control they have over their food intake and use it as a substitute for their lack of control over their feelings in the real world.

So, the question is – how do you go about changing these distorted associations with food and what must be done exactly to get the sufferer to see other avenues for themselves other than their present conditions and misdirected dependence on food. More importantly can we get the sufferer to change at all?

The answer is – Yes, we can.

But how can we do it? – We need to change the meaning she/he has attached to food, to break the endless cycle they find themselves in on to a totally different one: difficult yes, but not impossible.

Actually, all successes attributed to Psychotherapy only ever depends on how quickly people can change the meaning they attach to different things in life.

Here are three Fundamentals to create a new meaning in life (in the case of eating disorder sufferers this is about food and Control):

1) ) Get leverage. This means you have get to the point where you believe you must change, you must change your eating habits and you MUST change it right now. You must believe that not to change will be more painful and that change will bring you pleasure.

If you only get to the point of thinking that you maybe should change. This is not enough to create a long lasting change in your behavior. Only a definite MUST change will give you leverage.

2) Interrupt the pattern.

This is when you do something totally unexpected in relation to your dominating thoughts in our case food.

For example, when a bulimic person gets a bit stressed by the end of day or feels uncomfortable regarding something – the first thought reaction for her/him would be binge eat and purge (this is the way for her/him) to get pleasure, control and inner confidence.

For anorexic – the thoughts of success and looking good and being confident associated with refusing to eat and starving yourself is their way of dealing with things.

This pattern (thoughts association) needs to be interrupted with some unexpected comment or behaviors which shocks the person into paying more attention to what is going on right here and now in their mind.

For example, I watch on TV once how one American Psychotherapist breaks the thoughts patterns of people with major phobias. One man had a major phobia with spiders (he saw spiders everywhere and was horrified just with his thoughts about spiders).

The Psychotherapist asked the guy:”How do you feel about spiders?”
The man turned pale and looked extremely anxious, and his answer was : “Not very good….” And at this particular moment the Psychotherapist jumped from his chair and started hopping on one foot in front of the man shouting very loudly “Yam, yam, yam, yam “ , making jerky and funny movements with his whole body.

The man looked stunned, his attention was 100% on the Psychotherapist now, he forgot instantly about his scary feelings regarding spiders.

After jumping and shouting for a minute Psychotherapist stopped, sit on his chair like nothing had happened (he looked normal and was smiling and happily).

After a small pause he asks the man again how he feels about spiders. The man did not answer straight away because he actually needed a few seconds more to bring himself to the state of spider phobia again.
During the few seconds when the man was thinking, the Psychotherapist repeated what he did the first time, making the man completely confused of what’s going on.

The Psychotherapist repeated whole procedure quite a few times (5 or 6).

What do you think happen to the man? He was completely cured of his phobia, just from one single Psychotherapy section.

3) Breaking the old associations

An interview with this man taken a few months later was shown on TV as well. In this interview he said that now he does not have scary feelings about spiders any more and he stop seeing them.

He also said that now if someone mentions to him about spiders he laughs, because he has a different association now, he associate spiders with these funny things the Psychotherapist did during the session where he was caught by surprise and even shocked with what had happened.

Another American Psychotherapist I know use to splash cold water people’s into faces at the time when people are describing their fears or feelings of bad habits. Again it breaks the association with their habits or phobias.

So the trick is to get the eating disorder sufferer to break their association with food by interrupting their thought processes when they feel compelled to not eat or eat and purge. You just need to workout the most appropriate time to do it. You may not be able to break their eating disorder with one single session but combined this with other things and it will be of great benefit.

You can create lots of ways of interrupting someone’s behavioral pattern if you really start thinking about it.

For more information about treating Eating Disorders (especially Anorexia and Bulimia) go to http://www.mom-please-help.com

Dr Irina Webster MD
Director of Women Health Issues

Monday, September 24, 2007

Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders

A study performed by researchers at the School of Psychology at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia found that exposure to idealized media images of “perfect” thin female and muscular male body types had negative effects on an individual’s own body image and body change behaviors.

One hundred thirty-three women and 93 men were assessed for body image beliefs before being exposed to the images. The researchers wanted to know how certain psychological factors predicted changes in the study participants’ emotions after being exposed.

The Eating Disorder Inventory-2, the Obligatory Exercise Questionnaire, and the strategies to increase muscles subscale of the Body Change Inventory were used to assess attitudes before image exposure. Participants were surveyed for body dissatisfaction, internalization of the thin/athletic ideal, body comparison, self-esteem, depression and identity confusion.
Researchers wanted to see if attitudes in these areas made people more or less susceptible to body dissatisfaction and unhealthy body change behavior after viewing idealized images.

After being assessed, the participants were exposed to idealized thin female and muscular male models. Visual analogue scales were used to measure changes in post-exposure state body dissatisfaction, anger, anxiety and depression.

Results showed a marked increase in eating disorder symptoms in women and body dissatisfaction in men. Women appeared to be affected by their attitudes in all psychological areas assessed; men were mostly affected by psychological attitudes in internalization and body comparison.

What’s interesting is that the women began to display a change in behavior, picking up eating disorder behavior as a result of exposure. Men simply felt badly about their own bodies, but they did not appear to turn to drastic measures as a result.
This may be because women were more affected by the state of their self-esteem than the men, which could make them more likely to “punish” their bodies as a result of dissatisfaction.

This information points to a possible need for greater media responsibility in relation to the images they portray. People also need to be educated about the role of the media and the ways in which those portrayed achieved the “ideal” bodies. Many images are airbrushed, and many models turn to unhealthy behaviors to achieve the supposedly “healthy ideal.”