FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT EATING DISORDER TREATMENT
1. WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS THAT SOMEONE MAY HAVE AN EATING DISORDER?
- Significant weight loss in a short period of time
- Food restriction often disguised as decision to eat healthy
- Bingeing and/or emotional overeating
- Significant preoccupation with weight, shape, food
- Body image dissatisfaction and/or distortion
- Always feeling cold
- Isolation and loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
- Use of diuretics, diet pills or metabolism boosters
- Mood swings, irritability and feelings of depression
- Decreased concentration or attention
- Hair loss
- Excessive exercise
- Purging through vomiting or other means.
2. I AM NOT SURE IF I WANT TO GET BETTER. WOULD IT BE HELPFUL TO COME TO EATING DISORDER THERAPY?
Ambivilance is a normal part of having an eating disorder. Eating disorder symptoms are attempts to cope with difficult issues. If you do not have a repertoire of healthy coping skills, it can be frightening to give up symptoms. Weight gain and the fear of what that entails can also be very difficult. Therapy can help you explore what you may want to do about your eating disorder. Understanding the pros and cons of recovery as well as the pros and cons of keeping your symptoms will allow you to make choices at the pace you want.
3. WILL I HAVE TO GAIN WEIGHT TO GET BETTER?
Not if you are within a healthy weight range or higher. However if you are underweight studies show that this will perpetuate psychological and physical symptoms of an eating disorder. In individual therapy a client can choose the pace of their weight gain (if needed) so it does not feel overwhelming to them. Dr. Ergas helps clients set small goals towards increasing food intake so that recovery is possible.
4. HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO BE IN THERAPY?
How long does eating disorder treatment take is a difficult question to answer as it varies vastly amongst individuals. A great deal depends on the function your eating disorder symptoms are serving, a client’s readiness to deal with underlying issues, take risks and their readiness to make changes.
5. DO YOU WORK WITH A TEAM?
Dr. Ergas is the sole practitioner in her practice but has a network of colleagues in the field that she often refers to (nutritionists, family therapists). She then works collaboratively with these professionals. Dr. Ergas also maintains close contact with client’s other care providers in the community such as their family physician, school counsellor etc (only if consent by client is provided).
6. I DO NOT MEET THE DIAGNOSIS FOR AN EATING DISORDER, BUT I HAVE ISSUES AROUND FOOD AND WEIGHT. DO YOU SEE PEOPLE LIKE ME IN YOU PRACTICE?
Absolutely. Many people do not meet the full criteria for an eating disorder but still struggle with weight preoccupation, rigid eating and overeating. It is often best to interrupt these symptoms before they get worse.