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Linda D Buchan B.ED, MA Registered Psychologist

1511 – 10th Street SW Calgary AB  T2R 1E8






Eating Disorders

Whether you are looking for treatment because you have had a recent health scare or because a family member has expressed serious concerns, it is likely that you are considering treatment for your eating disorder with great reluctance. Due to the complex nature of eating disorders, treatment can be very challenging.

The treatment plan I offer may include the following elements, based on your individual needs:

* Individuals with Anorexia Nervosa typically have characteristically rigid and inflexible ways of thinking which reduces their ability to process information in a broad context and often exhibit a preoccupation with detail and perfection.

Eating disorders are a uniquely challenging illness because they involve a very complex interaction of neurobiological, psychosocial and emotional factors in addition to personality traits and personal experience. Because of the unique nature of eating disorders, there is no one perfect treatment approach. Instead, research indicates that successful treatment closely aligns with the needs of the individual. It is my desire to help you learn about the complex nature of your illness and to help you explore the factors that have contributed to your eating disorder in order to target specific change.

The Clinical Diagnosis for Eating Disorders can be described generally as follows*:

Anorexia Nervosa: a refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height, accompanied by an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight; a disturbance in the way in which an individual perceives her weight or shape, along with significant denial of the potential medical risks; self-evaluation is largely influenced by body weight or shape, and in postmenarcheal females, AN may be accompanied by a loss or absence of the menstrual cycle. Two specific types are identified: Restricting type and binge-eating/purging type.

Bulimia Nervosa: recurrent episodes of out-of-control binge eating followed by compensatory behaviours such as self-induced vomiting, fasting, excessive exercising or use of laxatives to get rid of the calories just consumed. Weight fluctuations may accompany the behaviour and the behaviour is also interfering with life.

Binge-Eating Disorder: when eating is taken to extremes such as over-eating to manage difficult circumstances or to manage stress; eating is often done in secret and is associated with feelings of shame and guilt.

Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (ED-NOS): individuals who experience a mix of anorexia, bulimia and/or binge eating symptoms but don’t meet all of the criteria of one of these other categories.

If you find that your preoccupation with food and eating behaviours is causing significant interference with your life and if the way you think about food and eating is preventing you from enjoying everyday activities and relationships then you may be struggling with an eating disorder. The very nature of eating disorders is such that those who suffer with them are reluctant and fearful to even consider getting help. But there is compelling evidence that getting help early leads to significantly better outcomes. There is a high rate of success for those who actively seek treatment.

Please take the time to learn more about your eating disorder. It could save your life. It takes courage and hope to fight an eating disorder but the victory is so worth the battle.

*Adapted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed., Text Revision, 2000, APA


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