Help with Orthorexia

By Tonka Dobreva 03.12.2015 interact

Today on the show you learned about orthorexia — or taking healthy eating to an unhealthy extreme. Healthy eating is very important for one’s body image and emotional well-being, but any obsession with food — whether overly-consuming it, completely avoiding it or being choosy to the point that it affects your mental and emotional state — is a sign that expert help may be beneficial.

What Causes Orthorexia?

Although not officially recognized as a disorder, according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) orthorexia has become a way for people to escape from poor health. It can also satisfy the compulsion to have complete control over everything, including food. Some people obsess over food to escape from fears, to get thin, to improve their self-esteem or to search for spirituality and identity through food.

How to Recognize Orthorexia ?

NEDA lists the following questions to help you evaluate how healthy your relationship is with food:

  • Do you wish that occasionally you could just eat and not worry about food quality?
  • Do you ever wish you could spend less time on food and more time living and loving?
  • Does it seem beyond your ability to eat a meal prepared with love by someone else – one single meal – and not try to control what is served?
  • Are you constantly looking for ways foods are unhealthy for you?
  • Do love, joy, play and creativity take a back seat to following the perfect diet?
  • Do you feel guilt or self-loathing when you stray from your diet?
  • Do you feel in control when you stick to the “correct” diet?
  • Have you put yourself on a nutritional pedestal and wonder how others can possibly eat the foods they eat?

The more questions you answer with “yes,” the more likely that you may experiencing orthorexia.

How to Get Help

If you or anyone you know may be struggling with orthorexia, you can seek help at the national toll-free helpline for eating disorders: 1-800-931-2237.

You may also choose to talk to your parents and health care provider to evaluate your condition.

 

 

 

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