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The Clinic on Dupont Toronto

Eating Disorder Treatment

An eating disorder is characterized by disturbances in eating or by maladaptive eating behaviours, such as over-eating, under-eating, and purging, which compromise physical, social and/or mental functioning. Eating disorders affect both genders and occur in people of many different body types. In most cases, the individual increasingly becomes concerned with food intake and weight management, and the urges to eat more or less become more difficult to control. Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge-eating disorder often stem from, or coexist with, other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, which in turn may exacerbate the concerning eating behaviours. This vicious cycle can pose extremely dangerous risks to the individual’s health, which makes immediate treatment a crucial priority. Our clinicians who specialize in eating disorders use cognitive-behavioural therapy and other evidence-based treatments to help their clients disrupt the destructive cycle of thoughts and behaviours that drive eating disorders.

Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge-eating disorder often stem from, or coexist with, other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, which in turn may exacerbate the concerning eating behaviours. This vicious cycle can pose extremely dangerous risks to the individual’s health, which makes immediate treatment a crucial priority. Our clinicians who specialize in eating disorders use cognitive-behavioural therapy and other evidence-based treatments to help their clients disrupt the destructive cycle of thoughts and behaviours that drive eating disorders.

Are you looking for help with eating disorder? Our Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) professionals are here for you. Call us at (416) 515-2649 to speak with one of our psychologists.

eating disorders treatment

PATRICIA SPENS, M.Sc., C.Psych.

Stress, Depression, Addictions, Codependency, Couples, Families

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AMRITA GHAI psychologist

AMRITA GHAI, Ph.D., C.Psych.

Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Eating Disorders

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Nadia D'Iuso psychologist

NADIA D’IUSO, Ph.D., C.Psych.

Anxiety, Depression, Eating Disorders, Couples, and Adolescents

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EATING DISORDER TREATMENT IN TORONTO

What is an eating disorder?

An eating disorder is a complex and serious mental health issue that causes severe disturbances in emotions, eating behaviours, and thought processes. Some Eating Disorders include Binge-Eating Disorder, Anorexia Nervosa, and Bulimia Nervosa, among others.

How prevalent are eating disorders?

Approximately 2 to 3% of Canadians will experience an eating disorder during their lifetime. Eating Disorders can affect anyone although the prevalence is higher in women.

How do eating disorders affect people's lives?

Eating disorders can have severe consequences, on both physical and mental health. Physical ramifications may include heart problems, osteoporosis, infertility, muscle loss, dehydration, hypokalemia, and kidney failure, among other health conditions.

Eating disorders have a significant negative impact on emotions and thinking styles. Eating disorders affect mood, anxiety and emotion regulation. Individuals with eating disorders also are at high risk for suicide.

At The Clinic on Dupont, our multi-disciplinary eating disorder specialists can help you take control of your eating disorder, achieve emotional wellness, and improve your health.

What are the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder?

Symptoms of eating disorders include changes to behaviours, emotions and thoughts. It is typical that individuals with eating disorders are preoccupied with thoughts about eating or thoughts about their weight and/or shape. They may also feel extreme guilt/anxiety in anticipation of eating or after eating. Rigidity in the way that one selects foods or evaluates foods is also often present. Some may eat too little, too much, or too rigidly. Some individuals may also misuse laxatives or exercise excessively. Eating disorders also impact one’s relationship with their body leading to distorted body image or body focus that may lead to social withdrawal, poor self-esteem and low mood.

It can be very difficult to identify an eating disorder as the symptoms are not always obvious. You cannot tell if you or a loved one has an eating disorder based on their weight and behaviours alone. Although some presentations of eating disorders result in significant weight-loss starvation, most people with eating disorders may have an average weight.

What causes eating disorders?

The cause for eating disorders is not known however is likely to be impacted by several factors. Genetic factors likely contribute to the development of eating disorders. In particular, genes associated with specific personality traits increase risk. These include perfectionism, impulsivity, obsessive thinking. Also, extreme dieting can cause biological changes that may play a role. Other contributors may include cultural ideals about body size, deficits in emotonal coping skills, and trauma.

How are eating disorders diagnosed?

At your initial consultation at The Clinic on Dupont, your eating disorder specialist will do an assessment. It is crucial that you see a clinician with special expertise in the assessment of eating disorders given their complex nature. Your therapist will ask you about your mood, emotions, eating and exercise habits as well as your weight history, and your relationship with you weight and body image. The assessment will include questions about other symptoms and your family history as well.

How are eating disorders treated?

Adult eating disorders are treated with evidence-based psychotherapies, most typically cognitive behavioural therapy. Depending on the presentation and symtpoms, skills from other modalities may be included including, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), interpersonal therapy (IT). Family-based therapy is the modality most often used to treat eating disorders in children.

Your results-oriented eating disorder specialist will create an individualized approach that’s right for you. Your treatment will be based on your specific eating disorder symptoms among other factors.

How long does it take to treat an eating disorder?

The duration of your eating disorder treatment will depend on its course and severity. A minimum of 20 weeks is typical but can be more or less . Long-term recovery from an eating disorder requires focus on relapse prevention. Your eating disorder clinician will help you to modify your behaviour, recognize triggers, and provide you the tools that can help keep you on track.

What are the symptoms of eating disorders in children and adolescents?

The symptoms of eating disorders in kids under the age of 12 can be similar to those in adults. However, they are more commonly atypical of adults. Kids may express fears of stomach aches, choking, vomiting, or getting fat. They may also be averse to tastes, textures, and smells. The symptoms in adolescents often more closely resemble those in adults.

How are children and adolescents treated for eating disorders?

Family based therapy (FBT) is one of the most effective treatments for younger children. Adolescents do well with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), among other proven methods.

At The Clinic, we provide eating disorder treatment in Toronto for both children and adolescents. If your child needs eating disorder therapy our clinicians can help your child along the road to recovery.

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