Chronic Illness, Eating Disorders Counsellors

Chronic Illness, Eating Disorders

Chronic illness has the ability to affect you in more ways than just medically. In fact, it can impact you psychologically. The degree of impact is dependent on the person's personality and the circumstances before the diagnosis. Support structure plays an important role on a person's ability to cope, but oftentimes, a person has to go through various stages of dealing with the condition before they are able to adjust to the realities of the chronic illness.

When a person is diagnosed with a chronic illness, he or she will go through a number of stages similar to the stages of grief. Denial, disbelief and shock are just some of the emotions a person experiences when a diagnosis is made, and it's natural for them to resist major changes. Eventually, they will become exhausted, when all they really want to do is to recover. At that point, fear and anxiety will set in and worry in the face of uncertainty of the future.

Sadness, grief and depression are common emotions when they consider the possibility of lost goals, hopes and dreams. Losing independence is a real fear, which becomes inevitable if an illness progresses and that brings about the fear of being a burden to loved ones, which brings on more anger, resentment and even shame.

Counselling can help a person to deal with the emotions relating to chronic illness and to cope with the stress and anxieties of accepting and coping with life changes. It will help to regain personal control over life and yourself.

If you are looking for a counsellor or psychologist who works with in chronically ill individuals you may want to search the directory to find a professional whose approach will suit you best.

Eating disorders comprise a range of attitudes and behaviors relating to food and body-image. The three main eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia, and ED NOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified). These conditions manifest to different degrees in different people and can sometimes be mistakenly judged as poor eating habits, or a lack of willpower.

People with eating disorders don't eat in harmony with their bodies' needs, instead, people with Anorexia Nervosa eat much less than they need, while Bulimia sufferers binge and then induce vomiting. They may also do other things to compensate for overeating, including exercising or fasting. ED NOS combines any combination of the other two conditions.

Apart from the physical symptoms and behaviors above, someone with an eating disorder will generally also have poor self-esteem and obsessively research or talk about food, dieting or exercise. Poor body image will cause them to either wear clothes that cover up every inch of their bodies, or flaunt  in order to attract attention. They will find it hard to accept criticism and compliments.

Therapy for eating disorders depend on the patient. While some people respond well to short term outpatient treatment, others respond better to long-term inpatient treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy are long term treatments that have been proven to be effective, while group therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapies and feminist therapies work for people who will respond well to short term therapy.

Family therapy is often advised for children and adolescents who are experiencing eating disorders. Research has also shown dialectical behavioral therapy to be effective.

If you are looking for a counsellor or psychologist who addresses eating disorders, you may want to search the directory to find a professional whose approach will suit you best.

Christina Clapperton

M.S.W., RSW
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Practice information: I am committed to you living a healthy life with meaning.  I am a Registered Social Worker (RSW) who sees clients at offices in Fairview and Baker Street in Nelson. Online/Video/Phone... Read more