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Help for Eating Disorders: Theory does not Help

Abstract: Help for eating disorders: How to convert theoretical knowledge into practical results.

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Help for Eating Disorders: Theory does not Help

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Question(s): 
Written by: Gunborg Palme, certified psychologist and certified psychotherapist, teacher and tutor in psychotherapy.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 13 Aug 2008.

Can you give me help for eating disorders: Knowing all the theory does not help in real life.

Answer:

You understand the problems and what it means to manage them, in theory, which is a good beginning. You have now to apply your understanding and insight. Take your time. To recover from an eating disorder is a long an difficult struggle with yourself.

Getting well takes time, you have to work with yourself. This is as if you have inherited an old and run-down house full of rubbish. It takes time to create a nice and functional home from such a house. But it can be done, with purposeful work. It is maybe not so important which of the rooms in the house you start with. What is important is to get started, otherwise nothing will happen. In the case of eating disorders, here are some problems to tackle:

  1. Learn to recognize your physical feelings of hunger and satisfaction, and to eat only in response to those feelings. More .
  2. Learn to recognize your real feelings, and to solve the problems behind the feelings, instead of fleeing from unpleasant feeling through starving, vomiting and binge eating.
  3. Tackle your whole life situation, including studies, work, friends, free time, family, home, etc.
  4. Learn to think constructively, so as not to sabotage yourself.
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