MEET DR. ANITA FEDERICI
Dr. Anita Federici is a Clinical Psychologist and the Owner of The Centre for Psychology and Emotion Regulation, a private Clinic specializing in the assessment and treatment of eating disorders, personality disorders, and trauma. Anita has an established reputation for her work as a therapist, clinical trainer, researcher, program director, and consultant. A distinguished Fellow of the Academy for Eating Disorders, Anita is a recognized authority on eating disorder treatment and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Her work has been presented at international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals and invited book chapters.
IN THIS PODCAST
- Looking for answers in the wrong places
- Lack of proper assessment
- Remember, it’s an industry
Looking for answers in the wrong placesThe whole thing is a mess, since eating disorders which are neurobiological affect people’s health, so they go to doctors. Most standard family doctors and practitioners don’t have full experience with eating disorders, and so they prescribe medication that does more harm than good, like Ozempic.
There’s some big concerns here because we trust our doctors … You go to your doctor and you think that they know everything. So you know, a lot of people will go; “Why should I question it?” … Especially if [they] are suffering. (Dr. Federici)When a person is actively within their eating disorder, they will easily believe medication can resolve an issue because they are hyper-focused on quick fixes, like they believe diets to be. There is no single medication that can - alone - resolve an eating disorder.
Lack of proper assessmentA commonplace issue is that there is a lack of efficient or insightful assessment done on a person before giving them treatment to see whether or not they may be suffering from an eating disorder. What usually happens is that doctors, without adequate experience in eating disorders, prescribe medication or lifestyle changes to clients who are already physically and mentally unwell. These changes can have a further detriment to the client's already failing physical and mental health, even though they were recommended to help them.
It’s actually a fallacy that putting someone on a crash diet of weight loss is actually going to make them less suicidal. In fact, the research shows that it makes them more suicidal. (Dr. Federici)Medical interventions that are given without addressing the root cause of the eating disorder often cause many more problems down the line, like bariatric surgery and prescribing medications like Ozempic.
They’re in a starved state, they’ve lost a bunch of weight, and nobody is there to support them or to help them, and if you have an eating disorder, bariatric surgery or Ozempic does not treat an eating disorder. So, now you have people that are in an even worse condition, and there’s no support for them. (Dr. Federici)
Remember, it’s an industryIt’s called the weight-loss industry for a reason; it’s a business model, and the model is designed not to work so that products can keep being sold and new medications created for the money to continue coming in.
The diet industry is like the casino business. You’re not meant to win. We always say; “The house wins”, it’s the same thing here. For the pharmaceutical companies, there’s a lot of money in you not succeeding, and you hating your body, and you needing their interventions. (Dr. Federici)If we could create cultures in the world where you didn’t hate your body simply because of your weight or shape, you wouldn’t need them. They would cease to exist. They only exist because they have convinced you that you are “wrong” and they have the “solution”. It’s just a narrative because health comes in many sizes.
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