Eating disorders are complex psychological conditions that are characterized by abnormal, irregular eating habits, and an extreme concern with one’s body weight or shape. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) specifically defines eating disorders as “serious medical illnesses marked by severe disturbances to a person’s eating behavior.” There are different types of eating disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) under the Disorder Class: Feeding and Eating Disorders. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), an estimated 30 million U.S. adults will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives. The pervasive symptoms associated with any type of eating disorder can cause adverse physiological consequences, interfere with one’s ability to adequately function in daily life, and if left untreated may become life-threatening.
Self-acceptance, which is defined as “the act or state of understanding and recognizing one’s own abilities and limitations,” plays a pivotal role in the recovery journey of individuals with eating disorders. There are a variety of ways self-acceptance can influence eating disorder treatment and recovery. Shame and guilt are common emotions in eating disorders. Self-acceptance helps to diminish these types of unwanted feelings associated with body image and eating habits. A 2021 paper in the Journal of Positive Psychology, asserts that self-acceptance induces a feeling of security and calmness as it produces a chemical response by activating the parasympathetic system, which triggers the release of oxytocin (commonly known as the “love hormone”). It fosters self-compassion, allowing individuals to treat themselves with kindness and decrease self-criticism tendencies. Self-acceptance helps an individual learn to appreciate the body for its abilities and what it can do rather than focusing on its appearance. It promotes a positive body image and reduces the desire for harmful weight control and/ or disordered eating behaviors. Additionally, rather than numbing or avoiding emotions through disordered eating behaviors, self-acceptance encourages facing and accepting emotions along with learning healthy coping strategies.
In eating disorder recovery, self-acceptance is not about complacency but about acknowledging one’s worth and inherent value as a person, separate from appearance or achievements. It is a foundation upon which healthy behaviors, positive relationships, and a fulfilling life can be built. Empirical evidence suggests that self-compassion and self-acceptance appear to reduce psychopathology through lessened automatic and negative thinking, reduced avoidance of negative emotions, decreased entanglement with negative emotions, and greater emotion regulation skills, all of which can promote and support long-term recovery. Suffice it to say, self-acceptance is a cornerstone of eating disorder recovery.
Treatment In Calabasas
Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.
The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.