Eating Disorders Treatment
As the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (NANAD) reports, nearly 24 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder. There are different types of eating disorders, but the three most common are:
- Anorexia nervosa: Characterized by a low caloric intake which results in being underweight
- Bulimia: Features bouts of excessive eating then purging as a weight management tool
- Binge eating: Entails consuming large quantities of food but not inducing vomiting or other weight management strategies
Although there are different categories of eating disorders, each shares some common features. As the Mayo Clinic describes, the following are some common sign and symptoms associated with eating disorders:
- Skipping meals, making excuses for not eating, eating only approved or “safe” foods, refusing to eat in public, or eating in secret
- Constant preoccupation or obsession with food, especially how much or how little one has eaten
- Having a distorted view of one’s body, such as complaining of being overweight when in fact one is normal or underweight
- Abusing weight loss drugs, laxatives, or fluid release medications, such as over-the-counter pills used for menstrual relief
It is critical for eating disorder sufferers to seek treatment as these disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders. As substance abuse and eating disorders often co-occur, The Recovery Village provides an eating disorder medical stabilization program to address the complex medical issues these disorders present. Our expert staff supervises and assists the detox process for clients suffering from substance dependence or addiction. The mental health and medical team at The Recovery Village is specially trained in handling the physical toll eating disorders exact on the body, including dehydration and malnutrition. Our goal is to make the detox and rehabilitation process as comfortable as possible.
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Individualized treatment is essential
No two eating disorder sufferers are alike, and the severity of the disorders varies. In response to the varying needs of our clients, we have created different programs to treat eating disorders. An inpatient or residential program is available for eating disorder sufferers who require around-the-clock supervision and care.
When a patient in the residential program reaches stability, they are invited into the partial hospitalization program (PHP). This program runs five to seven days a week, 12 hours per day, and it includes meals. Common features of both programs include meeting regularly with a psychiatric provider, possibly taking therapeutic medications, psychotherapy, group therapy, family therapy, and recreational therapy, such as yoga, and exercise classes.
At The Recovery Village, our mental health and medical experts are well trained in the realities of eating disorders and how those disorders can lead to substance abuse as a means of self-medication. The data on eating disorders, which NANAD reports, clearly supports that a fixation on weight has become part of the American psyche. It is not surprising, therefore, that a survey of 185 women in college revealed that 58 percent felt they needed to be a certain weight, and of that group, 83 percent dieted for weight loss even though 44 percent were normal weight.
At The Recovery Village, we provide an extensive intake process to learn each patient’s eating disorder history and any history of drug or alcohol abuse. This information is critical to creating a plan tailored to achieving a healthy weight, maintaining that state of wellness, and learning the life skills necessary to prevent a relapse. If you or someone you know needs help, don’t hesitate to contact us today.