Posts Tagged “Anxiety”
The Link Between Eating Disorders and Other Mental Health Diagnoses
Eating disorders are complex illnesses for both the individuals who experience them and the professionals who seek to treat them. Among the complicating factors is that they seldom exist in isolation. Many people suffering from anorexia, bulimia, BED, and other eating disorders also experience other mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, substance use disorders, or a history of trauma.
The high prevalence of anxiety and depression among those with eating disorders hints at a biological connection between these conditions. Further research is needed to fully understand this relationship—to discern whether anxiety and depression are distinct diagnoses independent of eating disorders or if they are intricately intertwined outcomes of the same underlying biological factors. It’s also possible that these conditions are correlated to the change in brain chemistry that occurs with starvation, bingeing, purging, and/or other eating disorder behaviors.
Demystifying Eating Disorder Therapy
CBT, CBT-E, DBT… Have you ever wondered what all those letters stand for and why they are so often talked about at The Emily Program and by other eating disorder professionals? If so, this is the post for you. Let’s dissect these terms, help you understand them, and explain why they are important to the work clients and clinicians do every day.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
“By correcting erroneous beliefs we can lower excessive reactions.” – Aaron Beck, MD
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) was developed by Dr. Aaron Beck in the 1960s. His work focused on how the conscious mind plays a role in how people interact with the world around them. Prior to his work, most therapeutic models focused on the unconscious mind—concepts like impulses, analyzing unconscious thoughts, conditioning, and “uncontrollable thoughts.” Dr. Beck changed mental health by introducing the belief that our thoughts are fundamental to how we interpret our experiences and consequently behave or respond. Dr. Beck and many other researchers have discovered that by identifying, monitoring, and effectively changing our thoughts, we can change or alter our maladaptive perceptions, leading to positive behavioral change.
Ten Ways to Reduce Anxiety
We live in a society that’s always on the go, and this constant activity can often lead to stress and anxiety. When anxiety creeps up, we may feel overwhelmed, stuck, or out of control. We may get distracted, hyperfocus or avoid responsibilities. While severe anxiety should be addressed with a therapist or doctor, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to alleviate symptoms.
Anxiety and Eating Disorders
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, but they are still often misunderstood. As with eating disorders, the seriousness of anxiety is often dismissed. When a disorder affects so many people, the behaviors and symptoms can become normalized in our culture, but those suffering deserve help just as much as anyone else. Just like eating disorders are often misunderstood as something that people can just “get over,” many people think anxiety is something that you should be able to move past easily, which is not realistic in either case. In this article, we will cover the definition of anxiety disorder, five common myths, and how eating disorders and anxiety are intertwined.
Navigating the Pressures of Swimsuit Season
Swimsuit season. Beach body. Bikini ready.
The terms are thrown around casually every summer. In regular conversation, on social media, and via media and advertising, we’re hit with messages that suggest we must prepare and perfect our bodies before changing into warm-weather clothing. “Get ready” for the summer, the messages say, by getting your body “ready.” “Follow this workout, stick to that diet plan, and you’ll look and feel your best!” The noise is hard to escape.
This summer, we’re confronted by messages not only about “beach bodies,” but about “post-pandemic bodies” as well. We hear and see chatter about getting our “pre-pandemic bodies” back. Diet and exercise routines are sold as a way to “fix” any COVID-related body changes or to make up for the pandemic time we “should’” have spent fixing our bodies. Amid this noise, we may also feel anxiety about others seeing us in person again, fearing body judgment or commentary.
Combine the “summer body” pressure with the “post-pandemic body” pressure, and it’s no wonder that this summer is a challenging time for those experiencing body image concerns, disordered eating, and eating disorders. But while Summer 2021 is a unique time to reenter and reconnect with the world and our loved ones, we actually don’t need to change our bodies at all to do it.
In this article, Dr. Jillian Lampert, Chief Strategy Officer of The Emily Program and Veritas Collaborative, helps us explore how we can all practice self-compassion this “swimsuit season” and help our loved ones do the same.
Episode 55: Eating Disorders in Fiction with Emily Layden
Emily Layden is a writer and former high school English teacher from upstate New York. A graduate of Stanford University, her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Marie Claire, The Billfold, and Runner’s World. She joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to discuss her debut novel All Girls. We explore the depiction of disordered eating and anxiety in the book and society more generally, using Emily’s experience with the co-occurring concerns as context along the way.
We center our conversation on one of the characters of All Girls, Macy, who struggles with clinical anxiety and an eating disorder resembling ARFID. Emily tells us about her decision to write Macy as she did, eschewing graphic descriptions of behaviors to highlight Macy’s anxious thoughts instead. She describes what she hopes All Girls adds to the larger conversation about eating disorders and the adolescent females among whom eating disorders are particularly prevalent. Emphasizing the importance of taking both eating disorders and young women more seriously, we explore how society tends to think similarly of both.