Programs for the Effective Treatment of Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses plaguing the younger generations of today’s world. The struggle to be the fittest, the skinniest, and most physically desirable has become a huge competition between men and women alike.
The standards of beauty and an industry motivated largely by profit are evolving and damaging to many people, from all walks of life. If you struggle with disordered eating, do not despair. Hope can be found at Icarus!
If you or a loved one would benefit from eating disorder treatment New Mexico services at Icarus, please keep reading to find out about our evidence-based programs now!
Social Pressure and Development of Eating Disorders
For example, the times have changed to a point in which a person isn’t simply “ugly” anymore, they just don’t have the money to pay cosmetic surgeons to be what society considers to be gorgeous.
Unfortunately, with the rise of social media and the glamorization of certain beauty standards throughout the entertainment industry, both younger generations and adults alike find themselves exposed to unattainable ideas of how they should and should not look.
While anyone can be affected by these beauty norms, young girls seem to be facing the brunt of these expectations. This, unfortunately, has led many women, young and old, to turn to eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia in order to get their weight down, oftentimes to unsustainable numbers.
With the rise of these conditions, eating disorder helplines and treatment centers have begun to become more common – and more necessary – throughout the US. Icarus Behavioral Health has many different treatment options when it comes to eating disorders, and if you or a loved one is struggling to find treatment, calling or texting Icarus could be your first step in recovery from this deadly disease.
What are the Types of Eating Disorders
Eating disorders can come in a few different shapes and sizes. Most eating disorders manifest in women, however, they do occasionally take hold in men as well. Whether eating too much or too little, unhealthy interactions with food can be defined as eating disorders.
The first type of eating disorder is called Anorexia nervosa. According to a study published on the National Institute of Mental Health Website, this is a condition where people avoid or severely restrict their food intake, or only consume very small amounts of specific foods. This condition may also be characterized by frequently measuring one’s weight and having body dysmorphia.
This particular eating disorder has two different subtypes, including the restrictive subtype and the binge-purge subtype.
- Restrictive: People who suffer from restrictive anorexia feel as though they need to severely limit how much and what type of food they are allowed to eat.
- Binge-Purge: People with this particular anorexia subtype will also heavily restrict the amount and types of food they are able to consume. However, they may also binge eat, in which they consume large amounts of – usually unhealthy – foods, and then purge this later through inducing vomiting or taking laxatives or diuretics.
Both of these subtypes are a major cause for concern, as Anorexia nervosa can be a fatal condition. Compared to other mental illnesses and conditions, this disorder has an extremely high mortality rate.
Individuals who struggle with Anorexia nervosa may either face fatal medical complications from starving themselves or commit suicide because of the extreme pressure of needing to meet unattainable beauty standards.
Bulimia nervosa is another disorder listed in a study by the National Institute of Mental Health. This condition is characterized by the struggling individual having recurring and frequent binge-eating episodes, in which they will consume an uncharacteristically large amount of food while having little to no control over their behavior.
Once the individual has finished binging, they will attempt to compensate for their food intake by purging, either through forcing themselves to vomit, taking excessive amounts of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, exercising excessively, or combining these methods. One does not have to be skinny to have this condition. People with bulimia can be underweight or overweight, or even have a completely normal BMI.
Those struggling with bulimia may have a chronically inflamed and sore throat, swollen saliva glands, and pain in their neck and jaw area. They may also have dental issues, such as sensitive or decaying teeth due to their regular contact with stomach acid. They may also develop acid reflux and other gastrointestinal issues, as well as intestinal damage from abusing laxatives.
Severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalances are also major risks with bulimia, as these can have their own negative side effects, including an increased risk of experiencing a stroke or heart attack.
Another common eating disorder in the US is binge-eating disorder. This is a condition characterized by a loss of control over one’s eating, where excessive amounts of food are impulsively consumed. Unlike bulimia nervosa, these binging episodes are not followed by purging or attempts to lose the calories taken in. Because of this, most people with this condition will be overweight or obese.
As one of the most common eating disorders in the US, this condition may be characterized by symptoms such as:
- Eating large quantities of food in a short period of time, usually around one or two hours.
- Continuing to eat even while full or not hungry.
- Eating very quickly during a binging episode.
- Eating to the point of discomfort.
- Eating alone or secretly to avoid being embarrassed.
- Experiencing distress, shame, or guilt after eating.
- Dieting on a frequent basis, possibly without losing weight or gaining weight back quickly after.
Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
According to the National Institute on Mental Health, there is one more disorder prevalent with eating disorders. It is called Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), which was formerly referred to as selective eating disorder, is a condition characterized by limiting the amount or type of food one can eat. Unlike other eating disorders, ARFID does not typically entail body dysmorphia or an extreme fear of weight gain.
This particular disorder is particularly common among adolescents. It is fairly normal for children to be picky eaters. However, children with ARFID can be picky to the point that they are unable to develop properly due to their low-calorie intake. Adults with ARFID do not consume enough calories to maintain their basic bodily functions. This condition may be characterized by symptoms such as:
- Dramatic food restrictions, including the types and amounts of food consumed
- Poor appetite or disinterest in food
- Extreme weight loss or inability to gain weight
- Stomach and abdominal pain, or other gastrointestinal issues without another identifiable cause
- Limited food preferences or picky eating progressively gets worse over time
Finding Eating Disorder Treatment: New Mexico
Whether seeking inpatient care for disordered eating or intensive outpatient programs, getting treatment for an eating disorder will involve your participation in various therapies.
According to another study on PUBMED, family-based therapy has become popular for helping people struggling with a mental illness heal and create better habits. This is a psychotherapy approach that involves the parents of adolescents who are struggling with anorexia nervosa and other forms of eating disorders to overcome these conditions.
In most cases, their parents will utilize their strengths in maintaining healthy and balanced diets to support their struggling children by providing them with regular meals and supervising their eating habits. This method has been found to be very effective in helping people to gain weight and improve their eating habits and moods.
Other therapeutic modalities, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), may be used to help reduce or eliminate binge-eating and purging behaviors for those who are struggling with eating disorders. CBT is another type of psychotherapy with a focus on teaching clients how to identify their distorted or unhelpful thinking patterns, and change these to more healthy and productive beliefs.
Nutritional counseling, group therapy, individual psychotherapy, and trauma-based therapy can all also be important and helpful in treating an eating disorder, as well as any underlying or associated mental health and mood disorders. When looking for an eating disorder treatment center that offers these services, Icarus Behavioral Health has got you covered! We also seek to make our programs as accessible as possible, with many forms of Medicaid accepted for disordered eating treatment.
Medications to Help with Disordered Eating
Evidence has also found that using certain medications, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, or mood stabilizers can also help treat eating disorders, as well as any other underlying mental health or behavioral issues such as anxiety disorders or depression. Whether eating disorder relapse has previously occurred, or to prevent cravings and negative thoughts, medications can be a helpful tool if used properly as a part of holistic treatment for disordered eating.
Find Effective Eating Disorder Treatment at Icarus
One thing is for sure, for top eating disorder treatment facilities, the Icarus Behavioral Health treatment center provides a warm and supportive environment for you to address your concerns and overcome your eating disorders. We offer both evidence-based treatments as well a holistic approach to recovery and are becoming an industry leader when it comes to treating eating disorders.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder or substance abuse problem, reach out for a complimentary consultation to get options. Make the confidential call today, and begin your journey of recovery with our family of compassionate clinicians and staff now!