Anorexia Nervosa is an emotional eating disorder which results in a two-pronged behavioral-emotional response. Behaviorally, a sufferer controls eating in order to lose weight. Emotionally, the behavior becomes an emotionally persistent and obsessive compulsion. Long-term anorexia has devastating consequences for a person’s health, even leading to death. Since anorexia is a psychological disorder at its origin, hypnotherapy provides an effective and safe way to address the issues without the long-term costs of plodding psychotherapy or the unknown side-effects of psychotropic drugs.
Although the chief characteristics of anorexia are the same for most people, i.e., the obsessive desire to lose weight and the refusal to take in adequate nourishment, the causes and underlying emotional responses are unique to each person.
The unhealthy behaviors of anorexia clients have become hard-wired over time into their Middle Minds (subconscious). The harmful habits become hard-wired into the behavior because in its interpretation of the world around it, the mind misconstrues key information and attaches it to emotions. For example, comments about a child’s weight connected with criticism might be the point of origin for the anorexia. Many adult behaviors are family influenced, and a family history of eating disorders might establish poor family habits and processing, as a whole. A person’s work, social setting, or hobby may even supply the pressure and the attached emotions which make a person’s body size obsession quite dangerous. Obsessive personalities in general, anxiety issues, relationship difficulties, and other stressors can all contribute to the emotional responses that mis-wire the Middle Mind’s development of appropriate behavioral responses.
People with anorexia nervosa have a number of rather complex issues. One is that they do not have a true perception of their bodies. An anorexic sees herself as fat, even when she is dangerously thin and malnourished. She also sees food as the enemy, or at least an obstacle, that causes harm.
The complex combination of a distorted self-perception combined with an inherent but mis-applied need for approval will create a distorted overall self-image. Thus, the anorexic will feel inadequate in most situations, creating a sense of anxiety that grows daily.
Hypnotherapy provides the tools necessary to discover the root causes of the problem and to address the various components which create the health and emotional dangers. Therapists can help to introduce new behaviors that disrupt, remove, and replace the previous, unhealthy ones. As these new behaviors develop, the client will experience greater confidence and healthier self-esteem. With the therapist, the client will organize nutritional intake management which will lead to more healthy eating practices. With these changes, the anxiety and daily stressors will come under more control, and the client’s self-image will improve. The key to these changes will come through the amazing mind of the anorexic herself! The hypnotherapist will provide the means, safely using hypnosis to supply the new data needed for change. Utilizing this approach, the changes should come more rapidly than they would with other psychological approaches. Thus, costs should be lower, the risks that come with psychotropic drugs are avoided, and the results in behavior change will be permanent.