Weight Conditions

Weight Conditions

imagesWhile it may be easy for some, most people still struggle to find their ideal weight that they are truly happy with. Dissatisfaction with your body image can lead to mental health concerns such as:

• Depression
• Emotional and binge eating
• Low self-confidence

Losing Weight

There are various reasons why it may be extremely difficult for some people to lose those extra kilos. These can be uncontrollable factors such as any underlying health issues or hormones that influence your ability to lose weight. However, there may also be controllable factors that the team at Aspire Health & Psychology can help you with such as:

• Motivation
• Self-discipline
• Stress
• Commitment to weight loss
• Food addiction
• Underlying emotional concerns

Counselling can be an effective approach in helping you discover and understand what triggers and maintains your weight gain. Together with healthy eating habits and regular exercise, our psychologists will join you on your weight loss journey by using a range of techniques such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

To make an appointment with one of the psychologists at Aspire Health & Psychology contact us on (03) 9391 9866.

Improper Eating Habits

Bulimia nervosa is a kind of eating disorder which consists of two subtypes: purging type and non-purging type.  It occurs with the same frequency in most industrialised countries.  The prevalence is 1-3% of adolescent and young adult females, and its gender ratio is 10:1 (Female:Male).

An individual with bulimia nervosa exhibits symptoms of recurrent binge eating episodes with perceived lack of control; recurrent compensatory behaviours, and persistent and undue concern over body shape and weight.

Bulimia nervosa may bring many physical consequences: fluid and electrolyte abnormalities; loss of dental enamel (chipped teeth; increased dental cavities); menstrual irregularity or amenorrhea; dependence on laxatives to produce bowel movement; sore throats; swollen salivary glands; nutritional deficiencies and dehydration.  Individuals with purging type are also more likely to have physical problems than the non-purging type.

The aetiology of bulimia nervosa is quite complex.  Increased frequency of bulimia may relate to genetic factors.  It may relate to biochemical factors such as abnormalities in endogenous opioids.  From the perspective of stress theories, bulimics perceive that they lack of control, experience higher levels of anxiety, and have coping deficits that influence the origins and maintenance of bulimia.  From the perspective of cognitive theories, bulimia nervosa may relate to factors of over concern with body weight, size, and shape; body image distortion; desire to be thinner; and perception of being out of control when eating. Moreover, social factors such as lower perceived social support, more negative interpersonal interactions and higher levels of conflicts, low social skills and social competence may relate to bulimia nervosa.

Bulimia is unlikely to resolve if left untreated.  There are two main kinds of treatment for bulimia nervosa. The first one is pharmacotherapy: anti-depressant drugs have some success; Naltrexone works to block the effect of opioid with significant reductions in binging and purging.  The second one is Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT):  CBT is an appropriate treatment for overweight people.  There is a substantial body of evidence supporting the use of behaviour therapy in the treatment of obesity (Wilson & Brownell, 2002; Wing, 1998, 2002).  CBT consists of Cognitive restructuring: median reduction in frequency of bingeing is 79%, with follow-up improvement; and Exposure and response prevention: technique tries to prevent or delay purging after bingeing; mixed results; benefits of cognitive restructuring enhanced by addition of response prevention.

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