Body Image Concerns
Mental health therapy is recommended if you are experiencing the below-listed symptoms and feel they impact your daily life. Treatment can also prevent body image concerns from escalating to mental health issues like eating disorders.
Negative body image is the belief that one's body or parts of the body are unacceptable. Body iimage struggles can be challenging to avoid when we live in a culture that glorifies specific beauty ideals. Societal messages bombard us by telling us our worth is connected to our appearance and size.
Eating disorders are complex illnesses that have severe emotional and physical consequences. Because of this, it is recommended that those struggling with eating disorders work with a multi-disciplinary team involving a therapist, dietitian, and medical professionals, specifically trained in eating disorder treatment.
Over 30 million individuals experience a significant eating disorder in their lifetime. One person dies every 52 minutes due to an eating disorder.
Eating disorders involve serious disturbances in eating behaviors and feelings of extreme concern about body shape or weight. It is common for those struggling with eating disorders to deny that they have a problem.
Specific Eating Disorders we treat at Bloom include:
At Bloom all of our therapists are HAES® aligned and either on track to become or already are Certified Eating Disorder Specialists. Our treatment approaches at Bloom help you address your disordered eating patterns and the thoughts and emotions connected while developing adaptive practices and building self-compassion.
Full recovery from an eating disorder is possible!
Common eating disorder symptoms include: preoccupation with food, weight, and body shape/size, restricting food intake, intense fear of gaining weight or of being fat, persistent behaviors to manipulate weight, heavy influence of weight and perceived body image on self-esteem, being considerably underweight for age and height, distorted body image, low self-esteem, eating habits interfering with normal social functions, rapid weight change, cutting out food groups, significant weight loss/low body weight, failure to gain weight in children, denial of severity of low weight, fixation on "healthy eating", excuses for not eating/denial of hunger, food rituals, eating large amounts of food rapidly, eating until uncomfortably/painfully full, lack of control over eating, feelings of distress, shame, embarrassment, disgust, or guilt related to food and size, secretive eating and/or missing food, visits to the bathroom after meals, weight fluctuations, excessive and compulsive exercise regime, hiding food, use of purging behaviors, such as vomiting, excessive exercise, laxative or diuretic use, eating items that are not considered food, perfectionism, anxiety, depression, self-injury, social isolation, intense, dramatic mood swings, control issues, sleep difficulties, memory loss, self-medicating with food, self-criticism, extreme pickiness in choosing food, difficulty chewing food, lack of appetite, anxiety presented with "fear" foods, vomiting or gagging after exposure to certain foods, dependence on nutritional supplements, and avoidance of specific food items as related to sensory features.
*Common physical warning signs of eating disorders include: pale appearance/yellowish skin-tone, thin, dull, and dry hair, skin, and nails, cold intolerance/hypothermia, fatigue/dizziness/fainting, low blood pressure, high cholesterol, anemia (iron deficiency), poor circulation in extremities, gastrointestinal problems, muscle loss and weakness, abnormally slow and/or irregular heartbeat, irregular or loss of menstruation, weak or brittle bones/osteoporosis/osteoarthritis, swelling, growth of fine, downy hair (lanugo), decreased growth hormone which may lead to delayed physical maturation, decreased estrogen/testosterone/thyroid hormone, infertility, electrolyte imbalance, swollen parotid glands in cheeks and neck, discoloration and/or staining of the teeth, broken blood vesels in eyes and/or face, calluses on the back of the hands/knuckles, sore throat, heartburn/acid reflux, dehydration, gastric rupture, inflammation and possible rupture of the esophagus, development of peptic ulcers, pancreratitis (inflammation of the pancreas), stomach pain and bloating, constipation and diarrhea, cathartic colon, hemorrhoids, tooth decay/gum disease, kidney and liver damage, cardiac arrest, lipid abnormalities, heart disease, gallbladder disease, joint and muscle pain, sleep apnea, low blood sugar, hair loss, and growth failure.
When emotional pain overwhelms, some people will turn to self-harm to cope. Self-harm is intentionally inflicting pain on one’s self.
At Bloom, we treat self-harm through a harm-reduction lens because we know that self-harm can help to manage difficult emotions. Harm reduction means that we will help you replace self-harm with healthier and safer skills to cope with pain.
* all photographs and artwork have been created by therapists of Bloom Mental Health Healing *