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How We Treat Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders TreatmentAt A Center for Addiction Recovery, we provide specialized treatment for eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating. Clients enrolled in our treatment program receive a thorough assessment which will guide our staff to design a treatment plan that supports the clients' specific clinical and dietary needs. As abnormalities in eating and weight control behaviors are common, potentially dangerous, and life-threatening, our clients' meals are planned weekly by our nutritionist and prepared daily by our chef. In some critical cases, a full medical team will work closely with our eating disorder specialists and dieticians to ensure that a coordinated response is pursued.

Our approach to eating disorders is person-centered, flexible, and supportive. We do not believe in a 'boot camp' approach, nor do we support forced feeding in the case of anorexia nervosa, unless this becomes a medical emergency. For this reason, a client must be ready to seek treatment and be open to our support. For those clients who are seriously underweight, approval from their primary doctor must be obtained prior to acceptance on our eating disorder residential treatment program.

Understanding Eating Disorders

Understanding Eating DisordersAnorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorders include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. Eating disorders are emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences and it should be taken seriously.

Below is a brief summary of the Feeding and Eating Disorders described in the American Psychiatric Association's Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published in 2013. Click on the links below to learn more about the different types of eating disorders and their symptoms.

Anorexia Nervosa

  • Inadequate food intake leading to a weight that is clearly too low.
  • Intense fear of weight gain, obsession with weight and persistent behavior to prevent weight gain.
  • Self-esteem overly related to body image.
  • Inability to appreciate the severity of the situation.
  • Binge-Eating/Purging Type involves binge eating and/or purging behaviors during the last three months.
  • Restricting Type does not involve binge eating or purging

About Anorexia Nervosa

  • Approximately 90-95% of anorexia nervosa sufferers are girls and women
  • Between 0.5–1% of American women suffer from anorexia nervosa
  • Anorexia nervosa is one of the most common psychiatric diagnoses in young women
  • Between 5-20% of individuals struggling with anorexia nervosa will die.  The probabilities of death increases within that range depending on the length of the condition
  • Anorexia nervosa has one of the highest death rates of any mental health condition
  • Anorexia nervosa typically appears in early to mid-adolescence

Binge Eating Disorder

  • Frequent episodes of consuming very large amount of food but without behaviors to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting
  • A feeling of being out of control during the binge eating episodes
  • Feelings of strong shame or guilt regarding the binge eating
  • Indications that the binge eating is out of control, such as eating when not hungry, eating to the point of discomfort, or eating alone because of shame about the behavior

About Binge Eating Disorder

  • The prevalence of BED is estimated to be approximately 1-5% of the general population
  • Binge eating disorder affects women slightly more often than men--estimates indicate that about 60% of people struggling with binge eating disorder are female, 40% are male
  • People who struggle with binge eating disorder can be of normal or heavier than average weight
  • BED is often associated with symptoms of depression
  • People struggling with binge eating disorder often express distress, shame, and guilt over their eating behaviors
  • People with binge eating disorder report a lower quality of life than non-binge eating disorder

Bulimia Nervosa

  • Frequent episodes of consuming very large amount of food followed by behaviors to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting
  • A feeling of being out of control during the binge-eating episodes
  • Self-esteem overly related to body image

About Bulimia Nervosa Disorder

  • Bulimia nervosa affects 1-2% of adolescent and young adult women
  • Approximately 80% of bulimia nervosa patients are female
  • People struggling with bulimia nervosa usually appear to be of average body weight
  • Many people struggling with bulimia nervosa recognize that their behaviors are unusual and perhaps dangerous to their health
  • Bulimia nervosa is frequently associated with symptoms of depression and changes in social adjustment
  • Risk of death from suicide or medical complications is markedly increased for eating disorders