We humans all have different ways of coping with the stresses
of daily life and the pain from hurtful situations. In an
effort to cope on their own, many men and women create more
stress and difficulties for themselves by developing eating
disorders. An eating disorder can be eating too much, not
eating enough, binge eating or gourmandising to induce vomiting.
Any of these eating disorders can cause serious illness
and even death.
Dr. Sandra Neil has spent many years working successfully
with people with eating disorders. She has assisted them
to overcome their fears and enabled them to embrace a rewarding
and fulfilling life. If you believe you have an eating problem,
no matter what its cause, you might like to discuss it in
a warm trusting environment with someone who understands
and can help you.
It is important to recognise that the eating disorders
of anorexia and bulimia are disturbances of the self and
impulse controls. Both can seriously affect health and functioning.
Stems from a morbid fear of gaining weight. Anorexics limit
their food intake so severely that they can lose up to 40%
of their normal body weight. Disturbances of the digestive
system, lanugo, high activity, denial of illness and in
women cessation of periods are some of the major symptoms.
However, because of their distorted body image, anorexics
still believe themselves to be over-weight. Social anorexia
is a milder form where weight obsession is the uppermost
compulsion. Anorexia Nervosa is a more serious disorder
and is life-threatening.
Is characterised by binge eating large amounts of food high
in carbohydrates followed by self-induced vomiting and/or
laxative and/or diuretic misuse. Bulimia sufferers can find
themselves the victims of renal failure, cardiac arrest,
infection of the pharynx, loss of tooth enamel, potassium
deficiency, loss of hair, knuckle calluses, skin disorders
and enlarged parotid glands.
The misuse of food, dieting and exercise are common to
both Anorexia and Bulimia. Both disorders are now being
successfully treated by trained psychologists using individual
or group therapy.
Clients undertaking the programme undergo a comprehensive
psychosocial history, a Body Mass Index, and an evaluation
and nutritional assessment to provide an overall view of
their status. If medical problems are suspected, a medical
consultation will be recommended. An individualised treatment
plan is then designed and implemented by a psychologist,
and the initial 8-16 weeks group or individual treatment
Each patient's treatment plan identifies specific behaviour,
emotional, social and nutritional goals with regular reviews
of progress being made. Individual and group therapy helps
patients resolve emotional conflicts contributing to unhealthy
eating habits. In specialised activities, skills are taught
to enable the patient to develop appropriate eating patterns.
Visual body image sessions, to allow for realistic self-examination,
are an important component of the programme. The programme
is an effort to increase moral development, differentiation
of self from others, increase the ability to cope with stress,
modulate anxiety and assert one's self without stepping
on other people's toes - in short, to increase the awareness
of being one's own person and fulfilling one's potential.
As with any other problem of addiction, Anorexia, Bulimia
and other eating disorders give only temporary relief from
tensions and frustrations. More appropriate ways of dealing
with such unpleasant feelings are presented and taught in