Athletes and Eating Disorders

Mental Health Therapist in Raleigh, NCWhen you think of an athlete, you probably picture a person who is thin, toned and physically fit. Many athletes train for hours each day to perfect their strength, speed, and stamina. Their commitment to their physical health, their sport, and their team is admirable. These highly disciplined and focused people are the last group that you would expect to have eating disorders. While eating disorders are more common in female athletes, male athletes are at risk, too. Specific sports like gymnastics, figure skating, swimming, and wrestling have the highest occurrence of eating disorders among their athletes. If you need to speak with a mental health therapist in Raleigh, NC about your eating disorder, call Legacy!

Friends and family members of athletes are faced with the difficult challenge of knowing when their loved one is simply giving it all and training hard or when an eating disorder is developing or has developed. The signs and symptoms of an eating disorder may be masked as a dedicated athlete training unless you know what to look for.

Signs and Symptoms

These are the most common signs and symptoms of an eating disorder in an athlete:

  • Accelerated weight gain or loss
  • Hiding in the bathroom after meals
  • Rigid dietary restrictions to the point of obsession
  • Hyperfocus on body fat
  • Restricted calorie intake
  • Problems at work, school or in relationships
  • Avoiding social situations
  • In females, lack of menstruation

Additional signs and symptoms of excessive eating or the use of laxatives can also occur. Many athletes who have an eating disorder are quick to deny the existence of the disorder and blame it on new dietary requirements from a coach. They may also set unrealistic goals for training or physical expectations.

Talking with your friend or loved one about their training and your concerns can be difficult. At Legacy Freedom of Raleigh, we are here to help make those awkward conversations easier. Our highly trained staff has extensive experience in approaching and treating eating disorders in athletes. We believe that healing and overcoming an eating disorder begins with getting to the root of the disorder.

The Best Mental Health Therapist in Raleigh, NC

Utilizing a holistic approach to mental health treatment allows our staff to focus on you, not just your eating disorder. Together with your care team, you will develop a comprehensive treatment plan that is designed to heal your mind, body, and spirit. Utilizing traditional one-on-one talk therapy, your therapist will help you uncover the root of your eating disorder. Whether it is shame, guilt, depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem, identifying and working through those feelings is the first step to overcoming your eating disorder.

Group therapy is designed to provide you with support from your peers. Connecting with people who are working on healing themselves and overcoming their own eating disorders allows you to create a support network outside our outpatient facility. Access to our on-staff dietician and physical therapist helps repair your body and build a healthy relationship with food and exercise. Proper nutrition and healing your body are crucial for success.

We proudly offer more than ten alternative therapies at Legacy Freedom. Designed to help you establish new boundaries, help you overcome traumatic experiences and heal, your care team will help you select the right therapies for your needs and your interests. Whether you choose equestrian therapy, inner child work, or tai chi, your care team will be with you to support and guide you through these therapeutic experiences.

Stop letting your eating disorder control your life. Call or click to connect with a mental health therapist in Raleigh, NC you can trust. Take back your life!

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