Christian Counseling for Eating Disorders in Newport Beach

Do you feel like you’re not in charge of your own life? Instead, do you feel controlled by thoughts of food and what you will or won’t eat?

Does the fear of gaining weight, or the desire to have a “perfect body,” motivate your daily feelings, thoughts, and decisions? Or do you eat as a coping mechanism, to comfort yourself, despite problems with your weight or health?

If your answer to any of these questions was “yes,” then it’s important to consider whether you’re dealing with an eating disorder.

Here at Newport Beach Christian Counseling, we offer faith-based counseling for eating disorders from compassionate, experienced counselors who can work with you to reclaim your life, your self-worth, and your health.

If you’re tired of being controlled by food, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Christian eating disorder counselors or give us a call at 949-668-0335.

Faith-Based Treatment for Eating Disorders

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. – Psalm 55:22

There are many triggers and causes for eating disorders, including bullying, perfectionism, social anxiety, abandonment, and more. In order for healing to take place, these issues need to be addressed in a safe environment. We want to help you find peace in the Lord when you take your burdens to him. The guidance and support we offer will help you start your journey of recovery.

The statistics on eating disorders underscore their prevalence: 40% of us either know someone who’s had an eating disorder, or we’ve had one ourselves.

How Can Christian Counseling Help?

Christian counseling offers the same resources as secular counseling, with the addition of holistic healing for the spirit as well as the brain and body. We want you to find lasting solutions through our faith-based approach. We want to assure you that you are not alone in your struggles, and that we are here to be a source of support and solutions for healing.

In Christian counseling for eating disorders, there are goals we want to help you achieve:

  • Reaching and maintaining a healthy body weight.
  • Addressing the underlying causes for the eating disorder.
  • Processing the level to which the eating disorder has affected your life.
  • Building a healthy self-esteem and body image.

Treatment for Eating Disorders in Adolescence

Eating disorders are often triggered in the adolescent years, due to the combined factors of physical changes, social pressures, and both internal and external stressors. 95% of people with eating disorders are teenagers or young adults ages 12-25.

If you’re the parent of an adolescent or young adult with an eating disorder, it’s crucial to seek help for them as soon as possible. These disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental health issue. The longer they are not addressed, the more entrenched the thinking and behaviors become, making it very difficult to recover.

Our Christian counseling for children and teens offers a safe place for your child to begin the mental and physical recovery process.

Eating Disorder Recovery: Where to Begin

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.– Philippians 4:7

As many as 30 million Americans currently suffer from an eating disorder. A desire for control is often one of the root issues in the disorder. We want to help you find peace and healing through Christ as we walk you through the therapeutic process. A calm heart and mind will open the door for recovery.

How Do I Know if I Have an Eating Disorder?

Before beginning the journey to recovery, you have to know there’s a real problem. Unfortunately, many people with eating disorders are in denial about the seriousness of their condition, or they may deny having a disorder altogether.

Even if you know there’s a problem, this isn’t enough on its own, as you probably don’t feel able to stop destructive behaviors on your own.

As part of the process of identifying an eating disorder, your Christian counselor or psychiatric care provider may ask you questions such as:

  • Do you feel that your relationship with food controls your life?
  • Do you feel out of control when it comes to the quantity of food you consume?
  • Do you make yourself sick because you feel uncomfortable after eating?
  • Do you see yourself as overweight even if other people say you’re too thin?
  • Have you lost more than 15 pounds in the last three months?

Types of Eating Disorders

Once a mental health professional has determined you have an eating disorder, you’ll learn more about the type of disorder you have. It’s important to understand the scope of your disorder and its effects so that you can begin your journey of recovery and know you’re not alone in your experience.

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia is a disorder characterized by an obsession with thinness, specifically an overwhelming, life-altering fear of weight gain. This fear leads to compulsive behaviors such as fasting and extremely low calorie consumption.

Someone with anorexia usually has a severely distorted body image. They are often unable to see how thin they are and may be dissatisfied with their weight even when they are at a dangerously low body weight.

Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa include:

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Fatigue, dizziness, or fainting
  • Hair loss or breakage
  • Low blood pressure
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Severely reducing calorie intake by fasting, dieting, and excessive exercise
  • Preoccupation with food
  • Frequent denial of feeling hungry
  • Irritability and depression

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia is characterized by episodes of extreme overeating alternating with efforts to purge the body of excess food, including self-induced vomiting, over-exercising, or the use of laxatives and diuretics.

In spite of their misery, people with bulimia are sometimes able to hide their disorder for years because they may never become severely underweight.

Symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa include:

  • Lifestyle rituals involving binging and purging
  • Swelling in the cheeks and jaw
  • Calluses on the back of hands and knuckles
  • Stained or discolored teeth
  • Irregular bowel movements
  • Self-esteem overly dependent on body image
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom after meals
  • Excessive, strict exercise routine
  • Feeling out of control during binging sessions
  • Depression

Binge Eating Disorder

The hallmark of binge eating disorder is consuming large quantities of food in a short amount of time. This behavior is comfort-based and quickly becomes addictive. It’s often accompanied by strong feelings of shame and an effort to keep binges hidden. Just like anorexia and bulimia, binge eating disorder can have serious health complications, so it’s vital to seek help as soon as possible.

Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder include:

  • Eating large amounts of food in a specific time-frame (usually 2 hours)
  • Eating in secret due to feelings of shame
  • Feeling your eating behaviors are out of control
  • Frequently eating until you’re uncomfortably full or when you’re not hungry
  • Feeling depressed, ashamed, and disgusted with your eating behaviors
  • Frequent dieting, typically without much weight loss
  • Weight gain and chronic obesity

Figure 1 Stats taken from www.anred.com (Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders) and healthyteenproject.com

The counselors at Newport Beach Christian Counseling offer an experienced, compassionate approach to overcoming eating disorders. We want you to know there is hope for a full recovery.

What to Expect in Eating Disorder Therapy

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:14

Only one-third of individuals struggling with anorexia nervosa in the United States get treatment.

In the United States, only one-third of anorexic individuals receive treatment. This is a heartbreaking statistic. Our goal in our Christian counseling for eating disorders is that you will know God’s love and how wonderfully He has created you. Through knowing His love, you can find wholeness, peace, and freedom from a disorder that has taken over your life.

How are Eating Disorders Treated?

As we’ve seen, one reason the mortality rate for eating disorders is so high is because so many sufferers never receive help. If you’re suffering with an eating disorder or you know someone who is, please reach out for help.

In Christian eating disorder therapy, proven counseling methods are combined with a Scripture-based perspective to offer a holistic approach to wellness.

Here are some of the most common therapeutic approaches for the treatment of eating disorders:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a method that has been proven to be one fo the most effective for the treatment of eating disorders, because it seeks to replace negative self-talk with healthy thought patterns, and harmful behaviors with healthy behaviors.

Family Therapy: Eating disorders affect not just one person, but their community as well, especially their immediate family. Family therapy can help an individual understand how their loved ones are struggling as well, and help the family know how to best process what is happening and offer support in the recovery process.

Depression Counseling can be an important component of eating disorder recovery, since the two mental health conditions often overlap (50% of eating disorder sufferers also have depression). Christian counseling for depression and eating disorders can help integrate various methods for a well-rounded approach to your individual recovery journey.

There is hope for healing and recovery from an eating disorder. To learn more about Christian counseling for eating disorders in Newport Beach, contact us today to schedule your risk-free initial session.