To conclude our study of eating disorders, we will tackle anorexia. As with other eating disorders, anorexia stems from a wide variety of emotional, mental, spiritual, and mental causes, although a specific trigger is not yet know. It is characterized by a strong fear of gaining weight and a mis-perception of one’s own body image.
Genetics, social cues and stressors, mood disorders, and personality traits are all suspected to contribute to anorexia, which can produce symptoms of social withdrawal, obsession with food intake, and exacerbated mood disorder.
As with the other eating disorders we have discussed, physical and emotional consequences of starvation create a cycle of sorts. The body’s systems go into crisis without proper nutrition, and mental and emotional reactions to the changing chemistry of the body go into effect. Yet emotional and mental disturbances also cause the initial behaviors which create the starvation effect. Therefore it is critical in treatment to break the cycle and learn new behaviors, new mental and emotional tools, and new ways to “be” in the body.
Treatment can take into consideration complete, whole-person nourishing. Consider the meaning of the word “nourish” according to the Merriam Webster dictionary: to promote the growth of, furnish or sustain with nutriment. This definition is not limited to the physical body; the entire being must be nourished for us to thrive. The anorexic needs to learn methods to be present in the moment, receiving nourishment for the mind, soul and body.
When an anorexic seeks treatment, he or she will often seek to address only psychological issues, however as the condition affects and is affected by the entire being, a holistic approach is very effective.
- Reiki and other forms of energy heailing
- Whole-person psychotherapy
- Movement like yoga or Qi-Gong
- Finding meaning and purpose to one’s life
- Learning self-compassion and kindness
Suspected anorexia, or any eating disorder for that matter, should be addressed promptly, to prevent further damage to the body and the psyche. Soul Wisdom Therapy specializes in these conditions, treating with a holistic, compassionate, and supportive process. If you or someone you know is in need of help, do not hesitate to contact us.