Working with Sufferers of Bulimia, part II

As mentioned in Working with Sufferers of Bulimia, part I the need for counsellors who work with sufferers of Anorexia, Bulimia, to enhance their understanding of these disorders in order to improve the quality of the therapy they provide is becoming more and more apparent as each new piece of research emerges. Furthermore, “Delineated treatment specifically tailored to the needs of each disorder” (Quinlan, 2013) as required for the treatment of eating disorders may be best accomplished by a full understanding of the differences in characteristics of these disorders.

Though there is no such thing as a typical patient or client, commonalities do emerge between sufferers of bulimia. It is often found that women who are engaged with the binge purge cycle, have been engaged with weight loss or have concerned with their weight and or a fear of being fat since their early teens (Beaumont, George and Smart, 1976). Additionally, further commonalities in personality traits have emerged among bulimic sufferers. Research into the personality traits of bulimic sufferers has show that they will often display more impulsive behaviours than those with Anorexia, (Garfinkel, Moldofsky and Gerner, 1980). These findings are confirmed by research carried out that showed a higher that average impulsivity often expressed by substance abuse (Pyle, Mitchell and Eckert 1981). In marked contrast to this, those sufferers of Anorexia are often “markedly obsessional, socially withdrawn” ( Bruch 1973). The rigid control of the anorexia patient is at variance with the more outgoing and extroverted style of behaviour of the bulimic patients. Bulimic patients however may alter their naturally outgoing social style as the binge purge cycle takes over their time and efforts, and they may become withdrawn and isolated. Add to this the on-going shame associated with bulimia and the sheer volume of time many bulimics give to their binge purge cycles and even though they may actually crave interaction, friendships and social encounters, they may find they withdraw and retreat into the comfort and familiarity of their food obsession rather than actively seek out and engage with others.

Once again given the propensity for sufferers of bulimia to maintain a fairly even weight, then identifying their eating disorder can be very difficult among their friends and family and so this eventual withdrawal can seem all the more difficult to explain and leave residual feelings of hurt or anger by those who cannot understand her behaviour.

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Working with Sufferers of Bulimia; Part I

Counsellors who work with sufferers of Anorexia, Bulimia, and other eating disturbances (Norma Leclair and Belinda Berkowitz, 1983) are acutely aware of the rise in prevalence of sever eating disorders among young women. Of this trifecta, bulimia is silently increasing year on year and is one of the most under reported and un-explored. One of the major concerns with Bulimia is the frequency with which is goes undiagnosed. Given the fact that the sufferers body weight typically will not fluctuate in the same way as other eating disorders, and the shame and secrecy that surrounds the binge purge cycle,( Pyle, Mitchell and Eckert, 1981) as well as the substantial physical and psychiatric illness that goes with repeated binge purge cycles (Mitchell, Hatsukami, Eckert, & Pyle, 1985) up to as many as one third of Bulimia sufferers do not seek treatment, (Fairburn & Cooper, 1982; Yager, Landsverk, & Edelstein, 1987). Add to this a conservative estimated increase in the mortality ratio of up to 30% (Patton, 1988), and we have what makes for very grim reading.

Dietary awareness and Nutritional Counselling (L. K. George Hsu, Barbara Holben, Shirley West, 1990) in conjunction with cognitive behavioural modification has been found to greatly assist in the treatment of Bulimia, however what this article is concerned with are some of the common characteristics among those being treated in private practice for bulimia.

The prevalence of young white middle class women towards bulimia is borne out by Pyle et al (1981) but it is the psychosocial traits that concern me in my practice at Midwest Counselling the most. The awareness of variances between the different forms or eating disorder has given rise to the need for counsellors to enhance their understanding of these disorders in order to improve the quality of the therapy they provide.

For example, it is only in comparison to Anorexic patients that the traits of Bulimic patients are seen to emerge. Whereas with Anorexia it is a morbid fear of being fat, accompanied with a totally distorted view of the body that drives self-starvation, by contract those sufferers of Bulimia are fully aware of the abnormality of the binge purge cycle in which they are caught; and this, along with the fear of lack of control over the binge purge cycle as well as the inherent shame associated with the binge purge cycle feeds negative thought pattern and a depressive mood.

Delineated treatment specifically tailored to the needs of each disorder are the means by which treatment may be most successfully delivered, and as such further research into each is urgently required

The Budget 2013; Financial Strain and Your Mental Health

Financial strain is probably one of the biggest causes of stress, especially in today’s economy and is only getting worse. With so many losing their jobs, cutbacks and tax increases just trying to make ends meet can cause immense stress to already stressful lives.

This year’s budget has promised to be tougher and more hard-hitting and may cause many of us to despair, panic and fear for the future.

If the stress and worry is becoming too much or if you feel you many benefit from talking to someone, please feel free to call me on 087 709 74 77 or email me in confidence at midwestcounselling@gmail.com

Bullying and our Children.

It’s normal to feel frightened and enraged about any kind of threat to our children’s well being, here are six solutions that can help parents to be effective in taking charge.
1. Stop Yourself from Knee-Jerk Reactions
If you act upset your child is likely to get upset too. They might want to protect you and themselves from your reaction and the older your child is, the more important it is that they’re able to feel some control about any follow-up actions you might take with the school.

2. Get Your Facts Right
Ask questions of your child in a calm, reassuring way and listen to the answers; look for solutions, not for blame. Be your child’s advocate, but accept the possibility that your child might have partially provoked or escalated the bullying.3. Protect Your Child
Your highest priority is to protect your child as best you can. What protecting your child means will vary depending on the ability of the school to resolve the problem, the nature of the problem, and on the specific needs of your child. Each case, like each child is unique.4. Prevent Future Problems
. Concerned parents can help schools find and implement age-appropriate programs that create a culture of respect, caring, and safety between young people rather than of competition, harassment, and disregard.5. Get Help for Your Child
Finally, you want to get help for your child and for yourself to deal with the feelings that result from having had an upsetting experience. Sometimes bullying can remind you about bad experiences in your own past. Getting help might mean going to a therapist or talking with counselors provided by the school or by other agencies.

6. Make this into a Learning Experience
As parents, it’s normal to want to protect our children from all harm but our children of also need the room to grow. Upsetting experiences don’t have to lead to long-term damage if children are listened to respectfully, if the problem is resolved, and if their feelings are supported.

(Abridged from the wonderful students at Antibullyingireland.ie )

Minister to meet constituents to discuss mental health law

Minister to meet constituents to discuss mental health law

11 July 2012

Cork representatives, including Kathleen Lynch, Minister of State with responsibility for Mental Health, will meet constituents to discuss improvements to Ireland’s Mental Health Act later today.

People with personal experience of mental health problems are meeting Minister Lynch, other Cork TDs and Senators to discuss their personal experiences with a view to influencing the Government’s current review of the Act.

Diarmaid Ring, service user activist and member of Amnesty International Ireland’s Expert by Experience Advisory Group said: “We as service users, family members and carers will be bringing our own grassroots experience of the mental health services to the table.

“It is crucial the experiences of service users are heard by those developing mental health law and policy, so they can introduce mental health law in line with the latest human rights standards.

“One of the key things we need to challenge is the current ethos of using mental health law to ‘contain’ and instead champion the ethos of recovery, as outlined in the Government’s mental health policy, A Vision for Change.”

Karol Balfe, Mental Health Campaign Coordinator, Amnesty International Ireland, said: “This is a great opportunity for politicians and policy makers to hear from those directly affected and ensure the changes they propose will really improve the experience for people with mental health problems.

“Today’s meeting is particularly timely as the Government is in the middle of its own review of the 2001 Mental Health Act and last month published its initial report.”

Postpartum depression

Postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is a form of clinical depression which can affect women, and less frequently men, typically after childbirth.

tudies report prevalence rates among women from 5% to 25%, but methodological differences among the studies make the actual prevalence rate unclear. Among men, in particular new fathers, the incidence of postpartum depression has been estimated to be between 1.2% and 25.5%.[1] Postpartum depression occurs in women after they have carried a child. Symptoms include sadness, fatigue, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, reduced libido, crying episodes, anxiety, and irritability. Although a number of risk factors have been identified, the causes of PPD are not well understood. Many women recover with a treatment consisting of a support group or counselling.

 

 

What is Mental Health

Mental health describes a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder.[1][2] From the perspective of ‘positive psychology‘ or ‘holism‘, mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life, and create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.[1] Mental health can also be defined as an expression of emotions, and as signifying a successful adaptation to a range of demands.

Read More Here…