National Eating Disorder Awareness Week
National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

You’ve heard it all before: You are what you eat! Healthy mind, healthy body! Don’t eat your feelings! Sometimes, clichés can hurt, but they also have some truth to them. When we are depressed, our propensity for negativity snowballs. Existing disorders such as bulimia and anorexia can be amplified to the point of disaster.

But here’s the good news: by treating your depression, you can also help tackle the root causes of your eating disorder.

That’s the purpose of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, a time for reflection and education. Approximately 30 million Americans are afflicted by just such a disorder, and millions more succumb to body issues and societal pressures. We must shine a spotlight on these problems if we plan to overcome them together with the help of National Eating Disorders Week.

The theme of this year’s event is Let’s Get Real, and the title speaks volumes. By speaking the truth, we set ourselves free. Shame and regret flourish in the shadows, but this is a chance to voice our pain and acknowledge a better path forward.

The Correlation Between Depression and Eating Disorders

Psychological issues ripple through our lives like a slow rumbling earthquake. Their tremors linger on and unsettle us in myriad ways. One area in which depression may create residual damages is body image. The way we see ourselves shapes our physical appearance and vice versa.

The correlations between mental health and eating disorders are striking. About half of all people who report issues with binge eating also suffer from some form of depression. Considering that an estimated 3% of the U.S. population has a history of binge eating, the math becomes illuminating.

This is more than just a simple coincidence; it’s a vicious cycle. When you binge eat, you gain weight. When you gain weight, you look at yourself differently. If your self-esteem drops, it can trigger depression. Depression makes you feel helpless and destructive, which could lead to more binge eating. And the cycle continues.

A similar dynamic exists for people who under-eat. When you perceive yourself as imperfect to the point where it consumes your every thought, that’s called Body Dysmorphic Disorder. It can cause those who suffer to give up eating altogether. This is an unsustainable situation, so it’s important to investigate the treatment options that can reverse such a trajectory.

Treatment Works

The first step in overcoming eating disorders is acknowledging that they exist. Therapy is a great first step in accomplishing this goal, and the results speak for themselves. One study revealed that among those dealing with anorexia nervosa, therapy helped 78% of them avoid relapse. Compare that with only 47% of the same group who merely received nutritional counseling.

Therapy also helped those who took part in a 2010 study revolving around binge eating and depression. It helped curb both the dietary behavior and the underlying psychological issues that exacerbated the overeating.

Going Beyond Therapy

While the aforementioned results are promising indeed, why stop there? Therapy is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to conquering depression. The newest tool in the mental health toolbox is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). This is a painless procedure during which a pulse of electricity passes through a coil affixed to the recipient’s head.

After repeat visits, patients can effectively reroute the chemicals in their brain, promoting pleasure enhancing mental activity while reducing the build-up of more detrimental brain chemistry.

Prepare for Success

Before visiting Pulse TMS, be sure to consult a doctor and/or therapist to be sure that you’re a viable candidate. We are proud to have elicited groundbreaking results for so many grateful patients, but that’s because we make sure to screen our candidates thoroughly before embarking upon a TMS regimen.

A few important points to consider:

  • Have you suffered severe head trauma in the past?
  • Are you currently taking mood-altering medication?
  • Are you prone to seizures?
  • Do you experience regular or intense headaches, migraines, or other debilitating pain?

Please discuss these issues with a member of our expert team when you initially contact us. We want to embark upon this journey together to find the right fit for your physical and mental health needs.

Take Control, Take Back Your Life

Eating disorders can envelop us, but they don’t need to define us. As mentioned above, body issues and psychological issues often dovetail, either lifting us up or driving us further down. But you can break the cycle by harnessing control and changing direction.

Success is its own reward. When we hear our clients’ kind words, they drive us to continue breaking barriers and forging new paths to a healthier landscape. We envision a future filled with individuals who surpass the depression they may encounter and rise to new heights of success and satisfaction.

Help us fulfill this vision by contacting us today. No eating disorder is too extreme and no amount of depression is insurmountable. We will work together to diagnose the right path for you, and then we’ll travel it together.

Article By: Chris Howard
Director of Community Outreach & Education Chris Howard has been working in the mental health field since 2010 after seeing the long-term effects of mental illness within his own family. He is a graduate of UCLA where he received his B.A. in Psychology. Having worked closely with those struggling with addiction, Chris considers the concept of community to be an essential part of treatment and advocates for wellness approaches that integrate both leading conventional therapies, as well as holistic practices like yoga and meditation.