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Eating Disorders

eating disorders

Eating disorders are complex and impacted upon by a variety of factors. They are characterized by unhealthy eating habits and extreme distress about body weight and shape. They run the gamut from inadequate to excessive food intake, which results in damage to a man or woman’s health and well-being. While the exact cause of eating disorders is unknown, it is seen to be multifactorial including psychological, environmental and biological factors. Negative body image and compromised self-esteem contribute to the occurrence of eating disorders.

Anorexia Nervosa is the best known eating disorder since it is the most readily observable. The telltale symptoms include low body fat, unhealthy looking skin and hair, and ultimately organ failure. Meal skipping is a signature sign of this disorder, resulting in what is seen as a less than normal or healthy body weight for ones gender and age. Excessive and obsessive exercising often consumes a great deal of time. The Mayo Clinic considers emotional issues as more central to anorexia nervosa than food itself.

Bulimia Nervosa is another very dangerous eating disorder. Bulimics may eat normal meals, limit their food consumption or overeat. However, there is one constant in their relationship with food. Bulimics purge after a meal or abuse laxatives. This behavior is very hard on the body and can cause serious health complications including dehydration, digestive problems, cardiac problems, depression and dysmenorrhea in females. A bulimic individual uses a washroom immediately after consuming a meal. Some complain of suffering from a gastro-intestinal virus to explain their actions.

Binge eating, also known as compulsive overeating, is one of the most common eating disorders. Those who suffer from binge eating regularly eat large quantities of generally unhealthy food when they are unable to cope with problems or are in difficult situations. Often feeling ashamed, sick, and depressed, they eat until they become physically sick.

Are you or someone you care about:

  • Obsessed with burning off the calories you eat and the exercise time needed?
  • Exercise excessively running the risk of various health issues including muscle injuries, stress fractures, heart attack and heart failure and damage to vital organs?
  • Preoccupied with the latest food trends?
  • Seeing your reflection in the mirror as much heavier than others seem to see?
  • Maintaining a healthy weight even though you are restricting calories or purging?

If you have answered “Yes” to any of the above questions you can benefit by taking that first step to call me for a complimentary consultation. This is the hardest part. It will feel neither good nor be easy, but it is the first step to improving the quality of the rest of your life. As I earn your trust and you become more comfortable, you will learn how to talk about your concerns. You will experience emotional relearning, coupled with behavioral change and cognitive reformulation. As a result you will be better able to manage the thoughts, feelings and behaviors involved and how they have impacted you.

I am a Manhasset psychotherapist, call me at (516) 627-1145 for a complimentary consultation to discuss any of these or related topics.

Dr. Maryann B Schaefer

Ph.D. – Counseling, Concentration in Psychology
NYS Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Fellow of American Psychotherapy Association

Phone: (516) 627-1145


5 Travers Street  Manhasset, NY 11030

Office Hours: By appointment only.

american psychotherapy association