Category Archives: Eating Disorder Program

Micro-Biting and Other Habits at the Table

Micro-Biting and Other Habits at the TableMicro-Biting and Other Habits at the Table

For those who have an eating disorder, the process of eating is a stressful experience.  Many worries swim around in the head of these clients.  How will I look after I eat this food? How many calories are in this? How much sugar?  However, eating must be done to stay alive and so it does occur at times, even for those who are very restrictive in their food intake.

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A Guide for Parents: Is it Dieting or Disordered Eating?

Is It Dieting or Disordered Eatingdieting disordered eating

With nearly everyone “dieting,” it’s often hard to tell the difference between “dieting behavior” and abnormal, disordered eating behavior. Dieting has become socially acceptable and more than that, the social norm. This can make it harder to pick up on warning signs in your teenager because what you see might not seem too far from the norm.

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A New Wave of Bullying

A New Wave of BullyingA New Wave of Bullying

Bullying, which is different from simple conflict, is characterized by an intention to harm, repeated acts of harm and an imbalance of power between the bully and victim. Bullying has changed over the past 50 years. It’s no longer as simple as getting pushed around at the playground during recess. Access to social media like Facebook, smart phones, iPads, and other advanced technology extends the parameters of bullying into a cyber space that is not only poorly monitored, but has also proven difficult to police or censor. Teenagers are so technologically connected that one word, insult, or picture can be spread to hundreds of peers in moments.

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When Your Child Has an Eating Disorder

When Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhat to Do When Your Child Has an Eating Disorder

When you realize that your son or daughter has an eating disorder, it can be incredibly overwhelming. Eating disorders are complex disorders and serious illnesses. As a parent, there is no “normal” response. Feelings can run from denying that a problem exists, to thinking it isn’t that serious, to not knowing how to fix it. One of the most important things a parent can do for a child with an eating disorder is to seek help from medical professionals and eating disorder specialists.

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What is Outpatient Treatment?

What is Outpatient TreatmentTypes of Treatment: What is Outpatient Treatment?

The decision to seek treatment can be overwhelming but it is important to do your research to determine which level of care is most appropriate for you or your loved one. As you may know, eating disorders are complex psychiatric disorders that are best treated with a multidisciplinary team including a physician, nutritionist and mental health professional. Therefore, health, food consumption and behavioral issues can all be addressed. Determining the level of care needed for someone diagnosed with or showing symptoms of an eating disorder/ disordered eating are generally dependent on the severity of the problem. The levels of treatment range from hospitalization and residential programs offered to those who need high levels of care and supervision, to outpatient being for those who require flexibility and need less supervision[1]. So what exactly is outpatient treatment and is it right for you?

Lowest Level of Supervision and Restriction

Outpatient treatment is the lowest level of treatment in terms of supervision and restriction. It is a non-residential setting where clients commute to and from the agency or service provider for a few hours a week[2].  Outpatient treatment provides flexibility because the individual seeking services can still balance and remain committed to activities such as work and school while still seeking treatment. Outpatient treatment has also been said to be more affordable. According to an article in the New York Times, in-patient programs can be costly and the recommended length of stay is usually three months or more. Most insurance companies are therefore very skeptical about providing coverage, leaving many individuals and families with fitting most of the bill out of pocket. Outpatient care options include the Maudsley Method, a family based therapy where families can provide the level of care comparable to a residential program for less cost[3]. Outpatient treatment also provides diversity, where the individual needing care can choose for therapy, support groups, and other mediums of services.

Benefits of Outpatient Care vs Inpatient Care

Although flexibility, cost effectiveness and diversity may seem to be benefits of outpatient care versus inpatient care it is important to think about the following questions. What level of supervision will you or the individual require? Is he/ she going to be able to remain committed to other important priorities such as supporting a family, work or school? What has been tried and was it successful? If the answer is limited supervision and needing flexibility then outpatient treatment may be right for you or someone you know. If not, do not be discouraged just continue to research and consult knowledgeable professionals until you find the best fit.

 

Sources

Eating Disorder Hope. Types of Treatment & Therapy.
Lehigh County Pennsylvania. What is Outpatient Treatment.

The Problem with ‘I Don’t Know’

“How are you? How was school? How was your date? How are you feeling?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know. Fine. I don’t know.”

This probably sounds familiar if you have a teenager. They learn, consciously or unconsciously, that if they “don’t know,” adults will leave them alone. This phrase not only becomes an escape from adults, but sometimes even an escape from themselves.

For teenagers with eating disorders, “knowing” can be painful and overwhelming. If she knows that she wants to go to a different restaurant than the guy she likes, he might not like her anymore. If he knows that he is disappointed Dad didn’t make it to his game, then it might mean Dad doesn’t love him. If she knows that what her friend said behind her back really hurt, she might lose her friend. In these situations, it can feel safer to “not know.”

All teens struggle at times with self-esteem and self-worth. For teens with eating disorders, particularly, experiencing disappointment, fear, loss, and rejection can be terrifying and personally devastating. Thus, the need to escape from what they “know” becomes part of the perpetuating cycle of the eating disorder. Many clients have said that their eating disorder helps to numb them to these experiences.

Part of our work at the Center for Discovery is to simultaneously draw out what they know (but have denied knowing) of their experiences, while also equipping them with skills and a community of peers and staff to help them cope with what comes up. They have learned to rely on their eating disorder to resolve or erase these experiences, but their self-esteem and self-worth is also lost in the process. We hope that, as they work out these experiences and the overwhelming emotions attached to them, they will experience being cared for, listened to, respected, encouraged and empowered.

 

Body Dissatisfaction

Body DissatisfactionRisk Factors for Body Dissatisfaction

Different people have bodies of different shapes and sizes. Despite the diversity of body shapes, many men and women wish that their body looked different. This phenomenon is known as body dissatisfaction or negative body image and is all too common. The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) defines negative body image as “A distorted perception of your shape—you perceive parts of your body unlike they really are” and also adds that those with negative body image see themselves as unattractive and feel self-conscious and awkward in their own bodies (NEDA, 2013). In contrast, those with positive body image see a true representation of themselves, and are also able to disconnect their self-worth from their body shape, accept their body as unique and feel comfortable and confident in their own bodies (NEDA, 2013).

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What is Intensive Outpatient Treatment for Eating Disorders?

What is Intensive Outpatient Treatment for Eating DisordersEver Wondered What is Intensive Outpatient Treatment for Eating Disorders?

Different levels of care exist to treat eating disorders.  The most intense treatment is hospital based Inpatient Treatment followed by Residential Treatment. A Partial Hospitalization Program, otherwise known as Day Treatment, involves spending the day in treatment, and then going home in the evening to spend the night. One meal and/or snack is eaten at home. The next lowest level of care, the one which this article focuses on, is Intensive Outpatient Treatment, otherwise known as IOP.

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Causes of Eating Disorders

Causes of Eating DisordersWhat Are the Causes of Eating Disorders

To say that there is one cause or something whose direct outcome results in an eating disorder is almost impossible. Therefore this article addresses some of the factors and trends that seem to commonly correlate with the outcome of an eating disorder. As with most modern day mental health issues, there is the bio-psycho-social approach, which analyzes the biological, psychological, and social/ environmental links to any given disorders.

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The Under-Education of Over-Exercising

undereducation overexercising
What Does the Undereducation of Overexercising Really Mean?

In our society, we are bombarded with messages about exercising and eating.
These messages come through many different outlets including television, radio,
magazines, and even through government sponsored campaigns. According to Let’s
Move.gov, Michelle Obama recently launched a campaign called “Let’s Move” to raise awareness of the importance of exercise and encourage children to exercise for an hour per day and adults to exercise for thirty minutes per day.

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