Dr. Molly Barrow

The Official Dr. Molly Barrow Blog offers educational self help advice about relationships, business, dating, marriage, parenting, teenagers and children, self-esteem, love and romance. Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D in psychology and is the author of Matchlines for Singles and the self-esteem adventure series, Malia and Teacup Awesome African Adventure and Malia and Teacup Out on a Limb. Dr. Molly is a relationship and psychology expert host on progressiveradionnetwork.com and television guest.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Eating Disorder? Put the Brakes on Fear. Dr. Molly Barrow Matchlines Relationship Self Help

Eating disorders are often the result of unbearable fear or anxiety and may escalate to a life threatening level. But how do you put the brakes on your runaway eating disorder? Many eating concerns spring from healthy habits like eliminating your junk food intake and getting daily exercise. When someone begins to have thoughts and behaviors that seem odd, they naturally try to find a reason for their behavior, often attributing their behavior to a comment by an over-zealous parent trying to supervise food, cruel words by other children, or severe mistreatment by a another person. These unfair or horrific behaviors may have hurt your feelings but it is now your own fear that creates the eating disorder. The fear is inside you and it is important to stop blaming others for what you feel. If you are experiencing ongoing abuse you must report it. But if you do not have a clear reason for your eating disorder, then consider the possibility of an organic brain chemical problem that creates a secondary emotional problem. If a child or adult experiences a trauma, injury, adddiction or severe dietary inadequacies, brain chemicals can be jeopardized. When the physical chemistry of the brain is off balance, a person's thoughts may become unbalanced too. Obsessive thoughts, paranoia and compulsions may start out rather small but can quickly escalate to impinge on your relationships, school or work. Sometimes better nutrition, antipsychotic medication or antidepressants may turn down the obsessive voice in your head who is loudly misdirecting you to be self destructive. These meds require supervision by a psychiatrist or physician that is well schooled in psychotropic medicine. If you had a broken leg you would not try to pretend it was whole, yet many people associate shame with an eating disorder and avoid seeking help for what may be a physical problem too. When you improve physically and become healthy, thought patterns can also improve. Author and physician, Dr. David Perlmutter recommends flax oil for a healthy brain, so I take flax oil in my smoothie every morning. But how many people can say they have a daily intake of flax? Adequate nutrition, rest, stress reduction and learning to love yourself unconditionally, along with any necessary medication (or flax oil) from your doctor can help you to find new ways to take back your life. Seek out a therapist to help you develop new coping skills for your fear and anxiety that are far less destructive to your health and lifestyle. Be honest with your doctors about the extent of your fear and how you use the eating disorder to help you cope. Let your doctor determine if a medication might help, expect some experimentation until you find the right one for your unique brain chemistry and ask a therapist to help you make sensible changes to reduce your exposure to anxiety causing events or people. Many eating disorders are a symptom of fear, organic malfunction or anxiety and with concentrated help, you might find freedom from your eating disorder and a brand new world.


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