Eating Disorders

Find Counseling for Eating Disorders in Medina and Fairlawn Ohio

There are inescapable images in our society of how a man or woman’s body should look. This pressure to fit into the mold often causes people to develop an Eating Disorder.

Eating Disorders are irregular eating habits along with an intense concern with body weight and image. These eating habits can be extreme restricting of food intake or excessive food consumption. These habits are sometimes taken to the point of serious bodily injury or death.  In the United States, eating disorders affect millions of people, regardless of age or gender. Only 1 in 10 people with an eating disorder actually receives treatment. Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.



Types of Eating Disorders


  • Anorexia
  • Bulimia
  • Binge Eating Disorder





Someone with Anorexia severely limits his or her food intake, often to the point of starvation, is obsessed with losing weight and maintaining a low weight and will have a drastically unrealistic perception of his or her body. He or she will constantly view themselves as overweight or ‘fat’, even if he or she is clearly underweight. Severe medical issues can be a result of Anorexia, such as infertility, organ failure, brain damage and death.


Signs of Anorexia:


  •  Is very thin and continues to get thinner
  • Loses or has thinning hair
  • Diets even though he/she is not overweight
  • Has distorted body image (feels fat even if they are thin)
  • Obsesses about food, dieting, cooking or exercising
  • Exercises excessively, even when sick/injured/tired
  • Overemphasizes the correlation between body image and self-worth





Someone with Bulimia will repeatedly binge eat.  Then to ‘undo’ or compensate for overeating and due to an intense fear of weight gain. He or she will force vomiting, exercise excessively, or abuse diuretics and laxatives. This person usually binges and purges in secret, which causes feelings of shame and guilt. This can lead to serious health issues such as gastrointestinal problems, dehydration, and heart issues.


Signs of Bulimia:


  • Engages in binge eating
  • Uses bathroom frequently after meals
  • Engages in vomiting, laxative, or exercise abuse
  • Reacts to stress by over-eating
  • Experiences frequent fluctuations in weight
  • Feels like their eating is out of control
  • Overvalues their weight as a basis for self-esteem
  • Has depressive or varying moods



Binge Eating Disorder


A Person with Binge Eating Disorder repeatedly overeats, but unlike Bulimia, he or she does not overcompensate by forced vomiting or abusing laxatives or diuretics. This person tends to eat when not hungry and eating to the point of being uncomfortably full. Often he or she will feel a loss of control over his or her eating and is unable to adjust this behavior. A person with Binge Eating Disorder tends to be obese, which leads to other serious health issues, such as high cholesterol and blood pressure, heart disease, and musculoskeletal problems.


Signs of Binge Eating Disorder:


  • Eats large amounts of food when not physically hungry
  • Eats rapidly or excessively throughout the day
  • Eats to the point of feeling uncomfortably full
  • Often eats alone because of shame or embarrassment
  • Turns to food as a way of coping with feelings
  • Has extreme feelings of guilt and shame for eating



Patient Management


The single greatest difficulty in managing a patient with an eating disorder is the patient often denies the extent of her illness and is thus unwilling to accept treatment. For example, a family member may bring the anorexic patient to the physician against her will. The patient may believe that her ability to exist on small amounts of food makes her special or that the maintenance of a low body weight signifies control over her life.

Initially, it may be helpful to educate the patient about the disorder. The disruptions of daily life associated with anorexia should be pointed out to the patient. The patient may eventually be willing to acknowledge problems with concentration on school, work, depression, isolation from peers, sleep disorders, and physical complaints such as hair loss or cold intolerance. Long-term complications, including osteoporosis with an increased risk of bone fracture, should be discussed.

In contrast to patients with anorexia nervosa, bulimic patients are of normal weight who binge and purge. They usually find their symptoms disturbing and are generally more willing to accept treatment.



Eating Disorders Treatment


We have found the management of each of these eating disorders is best when a multidimensional treatment plan is followed, including:

  • Physician involvement
  • Psychiatric evaluation
  • Individual and group psychotherapy


For some people, goal-orientated, short-term cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is sufficient. Others, however, require a more long-term, insight-orientated form of psychotherapy. For adolescent patients, some form of family therapy should be included in the treatment plan. With both disorders, early diagnosis and prompt, aggressive intervention are necessary to minimize morbidity.
Avenues of Counseling and Mediation, LLC has offices in Medina and Fairlawn; both locations offer Clinicians who are experienced with treating people with eating disorders.


Did you know?


  • Anorexia nervosa has an average mortality rate of 5%
  • 90-95% of anorexics are female
  • The typical eating disorder client is a white, teenage girl from the middle and upper middle classes, who will attend college
  • The anorexic patient is typically childlike in her logic, appearance and emotions
  • About 75% of people with bulimia nervosa will develop major depression in addition to their eating disorder, and almost half will also have substance and/or anxiety disorders
  • Approximately 3,000 calories is the average binge for those with bulimia, but consumption ranges from 1,200 to 11,500 calories
  • Most binges will last for about one hour
  • Bulimics sometimes spend over $100 per day on food
  • At least 5% of bulimics are overweight



Eating Disorder Clinicians