Friday, September 24, 2021

How can we frame eating disorders to guide better treatments

Eating disorders can be a bit confusing, so for simplicity, I often see it as a form of Compulsive Obsessive Disorder (OCD) where the patient is too “fused” or “super zoomed into” a particular theme or set of rules around eating, weight, or how they feel about food and body image.

Some folks with OCD are “super zoomed into” safety, cleanliness, germs, etc. For eating disorders, it is something relating to food, eating, their weight, or how they feel in their body.

Seeing it this way will help us guide treatment. 

Our goal is to help them “zoom out” and get unstuck from those unhelpful thoughts and feelings. Arguing and debating over facts may interestingly cause more “zooming in” problems, so one has to be careful here.

We can achieve “zooming out” through counseling, mindfulness, pharmacological methods, or often a combination as it’s usually a severe “zooming in” problem.

Once unhooked, we can help them to pursue a more value driven life.

If one can frame it in this way, then it may become “less mysterious” perhaps.

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