Treatment for

Eating Disorders

 

Our approach to Eating Disorder Treatment

Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating Disorder all share one common thread: They are an expression of underlying mental or emotional pain. At Fairwinds Treatment Center, our approach to eating disorder treatment involves creating a personalized care plan for our patients to help them overcome this pain and adopt healthier eating behaviors. And because many people with eating disorders also struggle with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, we specialize in Dual Diagnosis treatment plans designed to address these challenges. 

Many people underestimate the impact that eating disorders can have on a person’s life. If left untreated, eating disorders can lead to long-term health complications. The key to preventing these consequences is to seek treatment quickly from an eating disorder specialist with a proven track record of success. We encourage you to contact us at Fairwinds Treatment Center if you or a loved one require any of the following:

Treatment for Anorexia

Anorexia Nervosa is a well-known eating disorder that involves self-starvation in an effort to lose weight. The American Psychological Association summarizes Anorexia as follows: “Individuals believe they’re fat even when they’re dangerously thin and restrict their eating to the point of starvation.” The disorder affects both genders, though the majority of people with anorexia are female. Hallmark signs of anorexia are as follows:

  • An overwhelming fear of being fat
  • Restricted food intake and calorie counting
  • A distorted body image or a person’s belief that they are heavier than they actually are
  • Denial that body weight is abnormally low

Patients with anorexia weigh at least 15% less than the normal healthy weight based on their height. Failure to seek treatment can lead to a host of mental and physical health complications such as anemia, constipation, dry skin, and depression. Serious long-term health problems, such as cardiovascular distress and cessation of menstrual periods in women, may also arise.

At Fairwinds, our eating disorder treatment begins with a careful evaluation of the patient’s condition. Based upon this initial evaluation, we will recommend one of five progressively structured levels of care that will provide the resources needed to help the patient recover. From outpatient treatment to partial hospitalization to inpatient treatment, our levels of treatment are designed to promote long-term medical stability and recovery.

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Treatment for Bulimia

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder that involves alternating periods of binging and purging in an effort to prevent weight gain. People who struggle with bulimia often feel a sense of helplessness about their eating habits. People with bulimia may also exercise excessively in an effort to keep their weight in check. Here are some hallmark signs of bulimia:

  • Consumption of large amounts of food within a short amount of time
  • Self-induced vomiting and excessive use of laxatives or diuretics to purge consumed foods
  • Spending prolonged periods of time in the bathroom engaging in purging behaviors
  • A lack of perceived control over these eating behaviors
  • Tooth decay and a raspy voice caused by damage from stomach acid

Fairwinds offers treatment for bulimia that helps patients realize they can control their eating behaviors. Depending on the level of care required, 24/7 supervision is available to help patients refrain from binging and purging. Ultimately, treatment involves replacement of these destructive behaviors with healthy eating practices that patients can follow outside of treatment.  

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Teenage Eating Disorders

Treating Teenagers with Eating Disorders

Talking to your teenager is the first step in helping them treat their depression.Nearly 3% of adolescents are diagnosed with an eating disorder. Unfortunately, eating disorders in teenagers often go undiagnosed and untreated. Teens who do receive care often fail to recover fully and many experience long-term health complications as a result of their eating disorder. For these reasons, it is important to seek help right away if you notice any of the following behaviors in your child:

  • Spending excessive amounts of time in the bathroom
  • A preoccupation with dieting or exercising
  • Distorted body image as evidenced when thin teens state that they are fat
  • Excessive use of laxatives 

At Fairwinds, we use a comprehensive approach to treatment to help teenagers recover from eating disorders. We offer a residential inpatient treatment program that features 24/7 supervision and oversight by medical doctors who are skilled in the latest adolescent eating disorder treatments. Here are some other reasons why parents across Florida choose us to help their children recover from eating disorders:

  • Family therapy sessions to help pave the way for a smooth, supportive transition home following residential treatment
  • Educational support to help ensure that adolescents in school are able to keep up with school work while receiving treatment
  • A focus on safety that includes 24/7 supervision by trained behavioral health staff
  • Tips for parents to help them model the appropriate supportive behavior during their child’s recovery

At the same time, we screen for the presence of co-existing problems such as depression, substance abuse, and anxiety to ensure that they are addressed. With our comprehensive teenage eating disorder treatment, most children and teens can recover from an eating disorder.

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Male Eating Disorders

Treating Males with Eating Disorders

“Pressure for body perfection is on the rise for men of all ages, which is a risk factor for developing an eating disorder. Images of unhealthy male body ideals in the media place unnecessary pressure on vulnerable people who strive for acceptance through the way they look.” – Dr. William Rhys Jones, Royal College of Psychiatrists Eating Disorder Faculty

eating disorder treatment for menThe number of men with eating disorders is on the rise across the globe. In some countries, the number of men admitted to hospitals for eating disorders has surged by 70%. These statistics are shocking to many Americans who tend to associate eating disorders with women. On the contrary, one in three people struggling with an eating disorder is now male. Males with eating disorders are especially likely to exhibit the following:

  • Muscle dysmorphia, or a fixation with being lean and muscular in an effort to achieve the ideal body
  • Overly long periods of time lifting weights or working out at the gym
  • Excessive spending on dietary supplements or steroids

The Fairwinds team understands the unique challenges that men with eating disorders face. We believe that the first step in treating males with eating disorders is to remain abreast of the latest diagnostic trends and patient behaviors. By understanding these trends, we can ensure that treatment plans feature the latest cutting edge techniques. We offer a variety of male eating disorder treatment options designed to address the patient’s specific combination of mental and physical health problems.

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Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder

Many people are surprised to learn that Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder in the United States. Commonly called compulsive eating disorder, BED involves repeated episodes of continuously eating large quantities of food. Binge eating is among the newest eating disorders to be formally recognized as a diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). People who have BED may exhibit the following:

  • Consumption of abnormally large amounts of food within a short amount of time
  • Eating food even after feelings of hunger have disappeared
  • Feelings of depression and guilt regarding these eating behaviors 

Binge eaters differ from people who periodically enjoy an extra serving of food or seconds on dessert. Their consumption of food is consistently out of control and people frequently suffer from depression and social anxiety disorders as a result of their compulsive eating. Failure to seek treatment for BED can lead to the development of long-term health problems such as heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, and stroke.

At Fairwinds, our treatment for binge eating disorder involves teaching patients how to control their compulsive eating behaviors. More importantly, we help patients understand the role that their underlying emotional pain plays in their overeating behaviors. While a patient’s exact treatment plan will depend on their individual circumstances, we often use a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, individual psychotherapy, and meal planning exercises to help patients overcome their compulsive eating tendencies.

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Nutrition Services

nutritional services for eating disordersAt the heart of a successful eating disorder treatment plan is a focus on meal planning and therapeutic meal setting. Our registered dietitian is committed to continually improving the nutrition services we offer and ensuring that nutrition plays a prominent role in each patient’s treatment plan. Here is a summary of some of the nutrition services we offer at Fairwinds:

  • Customized menu plans that are prepared during individual treatment sessions and updated as needed by our dietitian
  • Weekly nutrition education classes designed to teach patients about the importance of balanced meals, vitamins, and nutrients
  • A therapeutic meal setting that involves establishing an environment that is conducive to proper food consumption with minimal discomfort

In addition to these services, the Fairwinds team helps patients and their families prepare for difficult meal-related challenges before they arise. For example, patients learn how to properly cope during the holidays when events often center around elaborate meals and extensive spreads of food. We understand the pain associated with eating and provide patients with effective strategies to help make mealtime a more pleasant experience.  

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If you are ready to discuss treatment for yourself or a loved one, the Fairwinds admissions team is here to help.



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