How do you know if you are experiencing an eating disorder?

Eating disorders are a worrying condition that can affect the functioning in all areas of your life – physical health, friendships, study, work, socially, relationships, as well as your identity and self-worth.

If you are constantly thinking and worrying about your appearance and your body, if you are restricting your foods or binge eating foods, or if you are distressed about your body and eating, and this is having an impact upon your functioning, then you may be experiencing an eating disorder.

There are different types of eating disorders. Traditionally Anorexia Nervosa has been the main disorder of note, however Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia Nervosa, Other Specified Eating Disorder, Avoidant and Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, are also recognised as having a real impact upon the health and functioning of a person and can cause medical and ongoing impairment.

How do you go about accessing help for an eating disorder?

The first step if you think that you might have an eating disorder is to see your GP. They can assist you medically and help you plan how to access support and treatment. If you do require support, then your GP can consider creating an Eating Disorder Treatment Plan, which provides access to a Psychologist and a Dietitian.

Eating Disorder Treatment Plans are the biggest funded treatment advance in years with the recognition of the huge impact of eating disorders on children, teenagers, and adults of both genders.

With an Eating Disorder Treatment Plan, you will be referred to a Psychologist for an initial 10 sessions. At Melbourne Clinical & Child Psychology this means you can access 10 Psychology consultations that are eligible for Medicare rebates. After 10 sessions you see your GP for a review, and after each review they can refer you for a further set of 10 sessions. After 30 sessions a Psychiatrist or Paediatrician can refer you for another set of 10 psychology sessions within those 12 months. In total you can receive 40 Psychology sessions every 12 months that are eligible for Medicare rebates.

How are Eating Disorder Treatment Plans different from Mental Health Care Plans?

The plans are similar in that they help provide funding for Psychology consultations for recognised mental health disorders.

Mental Health Care Plans only provide 10 sessions per calendar year, however Eating Disorder Plans can provide up to 40 sessions per 12 months.

The date that you are referred with an Eating Disorder Treatment Plan is very important. Make a note of the date in your diary. You will need a new Eating Disorder Treatment Plan every 12 months to continue to access Medicare rebates for Psychology consultations. Even if you have sessions left on your plan you will need to ask your GP to create a new Eating Disorder Plan every 12 months to access the rebates.

I have an Eating Disorder Plan! What are the next steps?

Contact us to arrange a consultation with a Psychologist with experience in treating Eating Disorders. At MCCP we are fortunate to have a group of Psychologists who are experienced in treating Eating Disorders as well as commonly associated conditions.

We recognise that Eating Disorders are not a stand-alone condition. You may also be experiencing depression, anxiety, OCD, relationship and family concerns and neurodiversity.

Everyone is unique and we can help to book an appointment with the best eating disorder Psychologist to suit your individual needs.