Eating Disorders & The Self Injury Link

Eating Disorder

Can having an eating disorder put you at risk for self-harm behaviors, or vice versa? If you or someone you care for struggles with self-harm or an eating disorder, Dr. Taji Huang is here to help you in Glendale, CA. As a licensed therapist and psychologist, she can help you develop a healthier body image, so you can give yourself the kindness you deserve.

Signs & Symptoms Of Disordered Eating

How do you know if you have an eating disorder anyway? Your doctor, a friend, partner, parent, or another family member may be the first to bring the possibility to your attention. Here are a few signs to look out for.

If you suspect you may have eating-related struggles, your doctor and/or therapist will be able to diagnose you properly, so you can get the care you need.

  • Poor Body Image & Self-Esteem
  • Thinking You’re “Fat” Even Though Others Insist That You Aren’t
  • Severely Restricting What & How Much You Consume
  • Constantly Going On Diets
  • Exercising Excessively
  • Feeling Very Distressed If Your Exercise Routine Is Disrupted
  • Binging Large Amounts Of Food
  • Feeling Ashamed, Guilty, Disgusted, Or Embarrassed About What Your Eat
  • Forcing Yourself To Throw Up
  • Taking Laxatives & Diuretics To Make Food “Pass Through More Quickly”
  • Hiding These Behaviors From Loved Ones

The Link Between Eating Disorders & Self-Injury

Many people with an eating disorder also suffer from other co-occurring mental health issue, such as depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, or PTSD. Moreover, anorexia and bulimia can cause you to perceive your own body as “unattractive” or “ugly,” even though the people around you disagree. This shame and hatred you feel about your body can trigger a cycle of self-harming.

What Counts As Self Harm?

When most people think of self-injury, they usually think of a person cutting, burning, or hitting themselves. While these types of self-harm can often co-occur with eating disorders as a form of “punishment” for eating “too much,” there are other forms of self-injury directly associated with eating disorders. These may fly under the radar because they aren’t as obvious and are sometimes written off as “dieting” and “weight loss routines.”

Many of the symptoms of anorexia and bulimia, such as not eating enough, over-exercising, taking laxatives or diuretics, and starving yourself after a binge, go beyond standard “dieting”. These habits can be considered forms of self-harm because they can cause severe (or even fatal) damage to your body.

The Dangers Of Anorexia, Bulimia & Self-Harm

Even though many people who harm themselves aren’t suicidal, self-injury can sometimes have life-threatening consequences if a wound gets infected, or you accidentally cut too deep. Furthermore, starving yourself or intentionally throwing up can lead to sore throats, tooth decay, malnutrition, hospitalization, heart failure, and kidney failure.

It’s important to get help from a therapist right away if you have anorexia or bulimia.

Binge Eating Disorder & Self Harm

Binge eating disorder is a lesser-known mental health condition in which a person compulsively eats extremely large quantities of food in a short period without purging it afterward. Many people with this disorder feel guilty and ashamed of the amount of food they consume, which can lead to an urge to self-harm as a “punishment.”

How Dr. Taji Huang Can Help

By retraining your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, it’s possible to develop a positive body image, end the cycle of self-harming, and recover from an eating disorder. Dr. Taji Huang offers a wide range of therapies that can help you start down the path of recovery.

Eating Disorders & Self Harm Therapy In Glendale

If you’re suffering from an eating disorder or body image related self-harm, Dr. Taji Huang can help you learn how to stop the cycle of self-hatred and develop a positive body image. Contact us today to schedule an appointment in Glendale, CA.

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