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Treating Anorexia in London

Anorexia is characterised by low weight and accompanied by distortions in belief about food and its link with weight gain. The individual may also experience an exaggerated perception of their body image in terms of feeling and believing themselves to look fat.

Common Features

People will tend to restrict food intake as a means of controlling weight, this can lead to becoming dangerously underweight and in cases hospital treatment is required. It is usual to eat very little (restricting food intake) and be very knowledgeable about calorie consumed and try to stick rigidly to controlled portions and diet.

When faced with a meal it may be very anxiety provoking with the prospect or perceived consequence of weight gain. This can make eating with others and social events involving eating out of an established pattern very anxiety provoking. Obsessional patterns around diet and fluid intake are common
In some cases exercise is used rigorously and routinely as a method of burning calories. Longer term effects can be depression and suicidal thoughts and urges, loss of libido, infertility and disruption to the menstrual cycle in females.

Treatment Options

Treatment in cases when severely underweight need specialist inpatient care and the input of your GP.

In the case of cognitive behavioural therapy there is a developing evidence base of its effectiveness. The interventions used initially aim to establish a routine of eating and support you through the challenges involved in this process through building problem solving strategies. CBT also aims to challenge beliefs and perceptions regarding body image and your own sense of self. The latter may involve working with associated feelings of anxiety and depression. If body weight is not at a physically unsafe level then CBT can be effective in conjunction with medical and dietetic input.

Evidence Base

The evidence base for CBT and anorexia treatment is developing. A recent guide and treatment manual is by Christopher Fairburn 2008 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Eating Disorders

If you would like to find out more or book an assessment in London then call on the number below or complete the online contact form.

Telephone: 020 7929 7911