If you or a loved one struggles with disordered eating patterns, it can be difficult to know where to start. In fact, it is even difficult to identify and admit to having an eating disorder. But properly treating an eating disorder is critical to overall well-being.
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may be struggling with an eating disorder:
Do you worry that you have lost control over how much you eat?
Do you measure your self-esteem by how much you weigh?
Do you have obsessive thoughts about dieting, weight, food, and/or exercise?
Do you try to hide food-related behaviours from friends and family?
Do thoughts about your weight or body shape control your life?
Do you overeat during certain emotional states (i.e. hungry, angry, lonely, or tired)?
Do you feel an overwhelming sense of guilt after you have eaten?
Do you restrict your food intake or find that it’s difficult to stop eating once you have started?
Disordered eating can manifest as Anorexia, in which a person severely restricts food intake; Bulimia, characterized by binges and purges (vomiting); or Binge Eating Disorder, in which a person has recurring “binges,” followed by periods of guilt and shame. All eating disorders are rooted in unresolved emotional trauma and biological imbalances.
The Vicious Cycle of Eating Disorders
Do not attempt to face an eating disorder on your own. Eating disorders are particularly pernicious; that is, the unhealthy mental state that triggered the eating disorder is made worse by the resulting lack of nutrition. Scientists have discovered that the gastrointestinal system and brain communicate via the gut-brain axis, and that malnutrition, nutrient deficiencies, and bacterial imbalance can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and can even cause unhealthy behaviors like disordered eating.
Because eating disorders are insidious and have multi-faceted root causes, successful treatment with lasting impact requires professional help. At Helix, we understand the complex mind-body nature of eating disorders, and we have the cutting-edge holistic treatment modalities necessary to address their complexity.
Eating Disorders: An Issue of Control
An eating disorder is not simply a reflection of your relationship with food, but rather it often reflects a deep-seated desire to exert meaningful control over one aspect of life. Other areas of life may seem beyond your control, but by controlling what and how much you eat, you attempt to bring order to the chaos.
The feeling of disempowerment or loss of control often starts in childhood. Prior to the age of 8, children’s brains are particularly malleable to their surroundings. During this foundational period of life—known as a “sensitive period”—a child quickly, subconsciously adopts ways of thinking and being that are modeled by people in their immediate environment. These patterns of thoughts and responses are not always healthy or adaptive, but without targeted professional help, they can last an entire lifetime.
Eating Disorders and Trauma
Your relationship with food—the very sustenance of life—often mirrors the amount of trauma you have experienced. When it comes to trauma, there is no one-size-fits-all. What is traumatic to one person may not be traumatic for another. The loss of a parent or loved one, bullying at school, sexual abuse, or even erratic or hurtful parenting styles can leave a child feeling as if he or she has no control.
Emotional Suppression and Eating Disorders
If you have an eating disorder, you may be harboring and suppressing negative emotions and directing them against yourself. This is the mind’s unhealthy way of coping with unresolved trauma. In her book The Molecules of Emotion, psychopharmacologist Candace Pert revealed that we carry suppressed negative emotions in our very cells, manifesting in chronic pain, inflammation, disease, and even self-destructive behaviors. At Helix, we are committed to helping you address and express emotions so that you are no longer weighed down by them.
The Biological Roots of Eating Disorders
Many researchers believe that eating disorders co-occur with impaired synaptic functioning leading to neurotransmitter imbalance, hormonal imbalance, prenatal hormone exposure, nervous system dysfunction, and acute inflammation. At Helix, our team of doctors and naturopaths will work with you to uncover hidden biological imbalances that are contributing to your disordered eating patterns.
Overcoming an Eating Disorder with Helix
With professional help from Helix, an eating disorder is not your destiny. Our cutting-edge, effective treatment program combines neuroscience with the most powerful Western and Eastern healing therapies to retrain your brain, rewire destructive thinking and behavioral patterns, and empower you to confidently live the life you have always imagined.
At Helix, we work with you to overcome the vicious cycle of eating disorders by co-creating an individualized treatment plan that will explore the following areas:
Emotions, anxiety, and fear
Negative belief systems and the inner child
Family systems and unhealthy relationship patterns
Behaviours, triggers, and coping mechanisms
Authentic communication skills
The role of anger and grief
Trauma and attachment wounds
Self-sabotage and the inner critic
The Importance of Our Unique Approach to Eating Disorders
Other treatment centers approach eating disorders much differently. These treatment programs can even exacerbate the eating disorder by attempting to control food intake, count daily calories, and even force feed non-compliant clients.
Because we understand that an eating disorder often flows out of feelings of disempowerment, we seek help you regain a sense of control. We acknowledge that voluntarily seeking help for an eating disorder can be difficult, and we are fully committed to creating a welcoming, non-threatening, and compassionate environment.
At Helix, our one-of-a-kind eating disorder treatment program addresses the multi-faceted nature of eating disorders so that you will overcome and move past disordered eating patterns and regain control of your life. Call 416.921.2273 or email [email protected] to book a FREE consultation with a specialist today.