Eating disorders have long been misconstrued as fads or diets, particularly in teenagers. This stigma is slowly dissipating thanks to medical and psychological advances, and there are now plenty of treatment options available to patients. Finding the right treatment program is crucial to helping your teenager beat this monster.
Health Consequences of Eating Disorders
A teenager who’s spent a significant period of life without seeking treatment for an eating disorder can wind up with a variety of very serious health conditions. The scariest can be an actual change in the heart muscle, leading to an increased risk in heart failure. Girls are at risk for osteoporosis as they age; osteoporosis is irreversible. Other physical symptoms include muscle loss, excessive fatigue, dry brittle hair, hair loss and fainting. The binge-and-purge cycles can lead to tooth decay from prolonged stomach acid exposure, potential gastric rupture and peptic ulcers.
Safe and successful treatment programs are carefully tailored combinations of psychotherapy and treatment of underlying medical conditions and any medical issues caused by the eating disorder. A lot of patients respond well to outpatient therapy. Medical care is usually managed by a primary care provider or any specialists who may be required. Patients will attend individual counseling, as well as various group and family support groups or counseling sessions.
Hospital treatment may be necessary when the disease has progressed to the point of causing medical conditions that require close medical attention, severe psychological disorders or if managed nutritional support is necessitated. Hospital care can include being hospitalized full-time, being partially hospitalized or being placed into a residential treatment program specializing in eating disorders. Partial hospitalization is usually indicated for patients who are medically stable and not a threat to themselves, but need the structure and stability that hospitalization can require.
What Does Psychological Counseling Entail?
Eating disorder treatment reviews have often been mixed, but lean towards being favorable for a patient’s outcome. Counseling can be as brief as a few months, but it can certainly be required for years depending on the patient. Psychological care is absolutely necessary to help patients learn how to exchange unhealthy habits for new ones, normalize eating patterns, heal broken relationships and stabilize their moods. It’s also necessary for helping establish normal eating patterns and recognizing when those eating patterns start to become disordered again.
It’s actually very difficult for disordered eaters to learn how to eat properly again and not spiral into the negative self-talk when they’re eating. Experts performing eating disorder treatment reviews have solidified the theory that eating disorder patients absolutely require nutritional education regardless of their age. Nutrition experts can help patients realize the necessity of nutrition and what a lack of nutrition will do to the body. They’ll help patients meal plan, which is a good step in guiding patients towards eating normally. Giving patients the tools to plan out their meals and daily caloric intake will help them feel in control of their eating disorder and mimic the control they felt by either not eating or purging after eating. Experts have agreed that patients see better recovery when they relearn how they’re supposed to eat and how to view food as a necessity, not a reward or punishment.
When you have a teenager with an eating disorder, you might be at a loss as to the best type of treatment to seek. If you’re in the rough stage between the realization of how extensive your loved one’s eating disorder is and being bombarded with eating disorder treatment reviews, don’t be hesitant to reach out to 800-447-9081 for help.