Eating disorders remains one of the most dangerous addictive behaviors
Eating Disorders remains one of the most dangerous and prevalent addictive behaviors. These are also some of the most difficult to treat because of the simple fact that we must eat. As a result, an abstinence-based treatment program will not work with Eating Disorders. The underlying problem in most eating disorders is an intense and amplified concern with weight and shape.
Specific ways that an eating disorder manifests itself vary from patient to patient. Many patients choose to limit their daily calorie intake to become extremely thin; others are constantly dieting but remain normal weight or overweight. Another group of patients binge on food and then purge several times a day while others binge but do not purge. Depending on the specific type of Easting disorder, food may be avoided altogether leading to malnutrition, poor health, and even death. With other disorders where food is used as a drug, the patient may gain dangerous amounts of weight. Research has shown that obesity has been linked to many different chronic diseases including diabetes, cancer, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Therefore, overeating can be similarly dangerous.
Therapy consists of addressing this heightened anxiety and often distorted concept of how they look compared to how they think they look or should look. More importantly, treatment would encompass determining the root cause through a cognitively-based therapy program which will generally include individual and group therapy. Addressing these significant concerns allows us to begin healing their eating disorder. Based upon the type and severity of the ED, Meal Supervision may also be required to help the patient normalize and regulate their meals. What we take for granted in sitting down to a meal can be a terrifying ordeal for someone with an Eating Disorder.
Regardless of whether a patient’s diagnosis is anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, or another eating disorder, their core problem typically remains an overconcern about their weight, often distorted perception of their shape, or a reaction to external influences. Through intense cognitively-based therapy, we treat these symptoms but also attempt to learn the origin of the underlying cause.