If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with anorexia, you probably have a thousand thoughts running through your mind. You might even feel a little apprehensive or frightened. You have all sorts of questions about the treatments for anorexia. As with all new scary things, information gives you power over them and allows you to make better decisions for your care or the care of someone you love.
What Is Anorexia?
Anorexia is one of the most common eating disorders, and its formal name is anorexia nervosa. People with anorexia often starve their bodies of needed fuel and nutrition because they fear that they are too fat. The patient doesn’t have a realistic view of healthy body weight. They will continue to starve themselves and see themselves as fat without treatment.
At the center of an anorexia diagnosis sits the issue of control. Someone with anorexia may feel that they have no control over their life and everyday events, but they can control what they eat and how they see themselves.
Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa
There are some signs that you or someone that you love is suffering from Anorexia. These include:
- Extreme weight loss
- Too thin or unhealthy appearance
- Thinning and unhealthy hair
- Extreme and excessive exercise
- Erratic heartbeats
- Yellow skin
- Poor oral hygiene
- Low blood pressure
- Always tired
If you think these symptoms fit you or someone you love, it’s a good idea to seek immediate medical attention. They can help you with a diagnosis. If you go too long without treatment, you can cause permanent damage to your body and possibly death.
Signs Your Loved One Has Anorexia
If someone you love has anorexia, they might be trying to cover up the worst of the symptoms. They don’t want to seek help and don’t want to worry you. However, there are warning signs of anorexia, and they include:
- Excessive exercising
- Wear multiple layers of baggy clothing
- Constant complaints about being fat
- Refuses to eat in front of other people
- Obsessing over food, such as measuring out portions of food, spitting out food, or only eating certain types of food
- Obsessively measuring body parts, typically the waist, and stepping on the scale
Treatments for Anorexia
Like any other medical condition, there are varying levels of advancement. This advancement dictates the type of treatment needed. There are five levels of treatment based on the severity of the individual case. These are:
- Level One Outpatient: The patient has an 85 percent healthy body weight and presents as medically stable. With minimal intervention and coaxing, the patient will gain weight.
- Level Two Intensive Outpatient: This patient is also medically stable and self-sufficient. They are only moderately motivated to gain weight.
- Level Three Partial Hospitalization: The patient is medically stable but lacks the will to gain weight. They need full-time outpatient care and may show signs of the compulsive need to purge.
- Level Four Residential Treatment: For the most part, these patients are medically stable, but they need structure to gain weight. They might not have a family support system. Supervision is required to make sure that they consume their daily calorie intake.
- Level Five Inpatient Treatment: These patients are not medically stable, and some may have suicidal thoughts and actions. They require constant supervision to eat their recommended daily calories.
You may find your loved one is resistant to seeking treatment. They may be embarrassed at the thought of asking others for help. It’s up to you to gently encourage them to seek treatment.
What Can You Expect From Inpatient Treatment?
Fairwinds Treatment Center offers treatment for anorexia on an inpatient basis. We offer compassion as we help your reevaluate and reshape your relationship with food. It’s our goal to help you find what makes you special beyond your physical appearance and help you rebuild your self-esteem.
To reach this goal, our professional staff members help identify and treat the underlying causes of anorexia, such as:
- Low self-esteem
- Social factors
- Attachment issues
Treatment for anorexia nervosa isn’t one-size-fits-all. There are varying underlying issues that need to be uncovered and dealt with to begin the healing process. Successful anorexia treatment starts with the basics.
Anorexia Treatment Center
During the course of your recovery and treatment for anorexia, many different professionals and specialists will provide treatment and their services. Each one brings different benefits for someone’s treatment for anorexia nervosa. Some of the professionals who may help in your treatment include:
At Fairwinds Treatment Center, our team includes the most qualified professionals in the field to help you or your loved one recover from this eating disorder. Our team members are dedicated to your recovery and lifelong health. Each of them brings something different to your recovery to help you heal.
Individual Therapy Sessions With a Counselor
During your anorexia treatment, you’ll meet with a therapist for one-on-one counseling sessions. These sessions will help you explore the underlying causes behind your fear and obsession with gaining weight. With individual therapy, you find a safe space to discuss your feelings and explore the underlying causes of your disorder. Once you identify the underlying causes of your anorexia, you and your therapist will work through these issues and develop a plan to deal with these issues, so you can deal with anorexic behavior. However, you can only do so much of the work with individual therapy sessions.
Group Therapy With Other Patients
When it comes to the treatment of anorexia, we’ve found that patients benefit from several group therapy sessions per day with their peers, people battling anorexia. These group therapy sessions help you build a support network and find that you aren’t alone in your battle with this illness.
During all group therapy sessions, there is a leader who keeps you and your peers on topic and mediates. You’ll get to work on your interpersonal issues and practice honest communication and asserting yourself within a social group. While you build relationships with others in group therapy, you’ll work on your skills in personal relationships.
Individualized Treatment Plan for Anorexia Treatment
At Fairwinds Treatment Center, we know that you’re unique. The circumstances that led to your eating disorder are different than other people’s, so we treat you that way. We take pride in creating an individualized treatment plan for you every step of the way. We can also make adjustments to this plan as we learn what works for you and what doesn’t.
We find many times that there is more than a single disorder when you have a diagnosis for an eating disorder. In some cases, you may have a secondary eating disorder, including bulimia, or a general mental health disorder. This can include a variety of other mental health issues, such as:
As part of your treatment for anorexia nervosa, we will treat anyone of these or other conditions that you may suffer from before you return home. It may seem daunting to have a dual diagnosis, but we see it all the time, and we’re prepared to help you cope and overcome both disorders to lead a healthy life.
Therapy for You and Your Family
Fairwinds Treatment Center believes that it’s essential to your recovery to treat your family too. Typically, anorexia patients have a difficult and challenging relationship with immediate family members. A therapist will work with your family members and help them to understand that your diagnosis is about much more than eating or not eating.
During family therapy, your family will discover the underlying causes of your disorder. You and your family will learn new ways of more effectively communicating with each other. The therapist will stress self-care to your family members so that they’re better able to support you in your recovery.
For an anorexic patient, mealtimes can be daunting and extremely stressful. At Fairwinds Treatment Center, we have a team of nutritionists who prepare meals to meet all of your basic nutritional needs. A member of staff will work with you during mealtimes to overcome unhealthy eating habits and to encourage you to eat foods that are fear foods for you.
We want you to have a healthy relationship with food by understanding the difference between restrictive eating and healthy eating. Our goal is to prepare you to eat and make healthy choices when you leave inpatient care. We’ll take steps during your inpatient care to help you cope with some of the most challenging food situations you’ll face once you return home, such as:
- Shopping at a grocery store
- Eating out at a restaurant
- End of meal desserts
- Prepping for meals
At Fairwinds Treatment Center, we offer varying levels of care so that we can partner with you to help you beat your eating disorder and live a more full and healthy life. It’s our goal to help you tackle the underlying causes of your eating disorder to help you be successful over your lifetime. By working with professionals and counseling the entire family, you can conquer your eating disorder. Contact us today to learn how we can help.
WE CAN HELP
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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