Manhattan Cognitive Behavioral Associates - New York
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Binge Eating / Compulsive Overeating Body Dysmorphic Disorder / Body Image Problems
Bulimia Nervosa Obesity & Weight Control

General Information about Eating Disorders and Body Weight Issues. In a society that overvalues being thin, feeling positive about one's body shape and weight can be very difficult. A negative body image can result in disordered eating, poor self-esteem, depression, and social anxiety. A range of environmental and physiological factors influence one's eating habits and weight such as stress, metabolic rates, societal pressures, and feelings of loneliness, boredom, frustration, and shame. Treatment can help you to change your eating behaviors, as well as help you to identify and modify any distorted thoughts you may have about food, body shape, and weight. Treatment may also require additional services including nutritional counseling and medical care. Although symptoms often overlap, the different eating disorders have distinct features. Please click on the links above to read a brief description of each disorder. For further information, please visit the National Eating Disorders Association website. This website will also provide information about the diagnosis and treatment of anorexia nervosa, a disorder that often requires more intensive treatment than we can provide in our setting.

Binge Eating / Compulsive Overeating. Binge eating is defined as episodes during which one consumes a large quantity of food in a discrete period of time (e.g., within two hours). The binges are characterized by a feeling of being unable to control the eating. The term 'compulsive overeating' is often used to describe this type of eating behavior. It is common to binge even when not hungry, eat until uncomfortably full, eat very quickly, and eat alone. After overeating, one may feel depressed, disgusted, ashamed, or guilty.

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Body Dysmorphic Disorder / Body Image Problems. Body dysmorphic disorder is characterized by a preoccupation with an imagined defect in one's appearance or an excessive concern about a small imperfection. Body image problems can refer to a more general dissatisfaction with one's entire body. These concerns do not always coincide with disordered eating habits but can nonetheless cause significant distress.

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Bulimia Nervosa. Bulimia nervosa is characterized by repeated, uncontrollable episodes of binge eating followed by unhealthy behaviors to prevent weight gain. For example, someone with bulimia nervosa may consume a large quantity of food very quickly and then vomit, use laxatives, diuretics, or enemas, take diet pills, and/or exercise excessively. Individuals who suffer from bulimia nervosa are overly influenced by body image, shape, and weight. It is common for people with this disorder to be secretive and to feel shameful about their behavior.

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Obesity and Weight Control. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can be extremely frustrating and difficult. Diets may be short-term, unrealistic, and unhealthy. Learning how to eat well is a life-long commitment that involves setting realistic goals and implementing a healthy weight management program. Treatment consists of nutritional and health education and teaches one how to use behavioral and motivational techniques. It is common for overweight individuals to suffer from a poor self-image and to experience negative emotions. Treatment addresses these feelings and examines how they can impact one's eating habits.

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