Canine Assisted Therapy Rising in Popularity
In therapy offices across the country, there are four-legged, furry counselors tapping through the hallways. Canine assisted therapy is becoming more popular, and the dogs are bringing compassion and delight into sessions with patients both young and old. According to Equine Therapy, dogs have a way of reducing depression and anxiety. For very young children or those on the autism spectrum, therapy dogs are especially effective because the patient can interact without having to speak. For those recovering from behavioral and emotional problems, dogs can teach how to care for others and for oneself. Continue reading
Integrative Medicine and Alternative Therapies
Eating disorder treatment traditionally involves individual therapy, nutrition, medical care, and family therapy. While we know that this team-based approach gives patients the best chance of receiving a holistic standard of care, research on the efficacy of eating disorder treatment is still grossly underfunded. According to clinicaltrials.gov, only 303 eating disorder studies have been funded in the United States. Continue reading
Navigating Insurance Coverage for Eating Disorder Treatment Doesn’t Have to Be a Nuisance
One of the biggest barriers to treatment for people with eating disorders is cost. Some residential treatment programs can cost upwards of $30,000 per month. Although research shows that early intervention and evidence-based care are essential for recovery, insurance protocols can sometimes make it difficult to receive the best care indicated. When you are faced with an eating disorder diagnosis that requires access to treatment, where do you begin?
Healing with Horses in Therapy Sessions
Animals can really be best friends: snuggling a puppy after a hard day at work, watching fish swim peacefully in their cool water home, or listening to birds sing are all ways to decompress when life is overwhelming. Service animals play an important role in many people’s lives, serving as the eyes, ears, and protectors for their cherished owners.
The ratio of female to male eating disorders suggest that women and girls are more affected than men: according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), the female to male ratio for anorexia is 10:1; for bulimia, 10:1; and 2:1 for binge eating disorder. Although eating disorders in females and males are clinically similar, it is feared that the true statistics related to males are not fully known due to underreporting of symptoms and stigma.
Helping your Teen with an Eating Disorder
Center for Discovery has been providing specialized eating disorder treatment to teens and adolescents for over 17 years, and we know how challenging recovery can be. Parents often feel helpless and alone as they struggle to find a way to help their child. Thankfully, there are resources available for parents and families who are caring for a young person with an eating disorder. With the right support, families can face the eating disorder together with strength and hope.
Missouri has become the first state in the nation to expound on the types of eating disorder treatment that insurance companies must cover. The law, championed by eating disorder advocates and signed by Governor Jay Nixon in June, will go into effect in August of 2015. This critical measure will help to ensure that eating disorder patients receive coverage for the treatment necessary to enter into and maintain recovery.
Eating disorders in men are on the rise. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, an estimated 10-15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are male. The National Eating Disorders Association reports that 1/3 of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals fasting, and taking laxatives.
A new study from the University of Montreal researched the similarities between male and female anorexia in order to improve awareness of the disorder as it presents in males. The study found that behavioral symptoms are similar between males and females, but that male symptoms in particular seem to be related to personality, gender identification, and sexual orientation. The study also found, according to Nauert (2014), that although males and females seem to share the same fears about weight gain, body image dissatisfaction for males was more connected to muscle mass. For males, excessive exercise was more common that other rituals such as restricting food and vomiting.
Nauert further reports that the rate of homosexuality among study participants was higher than the general population, leading researchers to hypothesize that anorexia may delay the processing of questioning sexual orientation and restrictive food behaviors may delay sexual maturation.
Further research must be done to fully understand anorexia in males and the special issues that create anxiety and stress in the male population. To support men who are struggling with eating disorders, some treatment centers, Center for Discovery among them, have committed to providing treatment options and programming for males who are suffering from an eating disorder.
Nauert, R. (2014). Study probes anorexia in males. PsychCentral, retrieved from www.psychcentral.com
National Eating Disorders Association: www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders: www.anad.org
We are overwhelmed with advice about healthy eating, clean foods, and cleansing diets almost daily. Some people take this information to heart and begin a special diet meant to improve overall health or add or remove certain foods from their diets to improve a health condition. While it’s true that there are many foods that are considered particularly healthy or therapeutic for certain conditions, it is important to pay attention to when healthy eating is taken too far. In fact, there is a name for healthy eating that becomes an obsession: orthorexia nervosa.
The term orthorexia was named by Dr. Stephen Bratman to describe his own personal experiences with food (Kratina, n.d.). The term literally means “fixation on righteous eating” and is characterized by rigid attachment to food quality and purity. People who struggle with orthorexia become fixated on maintaining very strict diets. For example, a person who takes up a raw or vegan diet may become addicted to maintaining strict eating habits- which can ultimately, and ironically, result in health consequences.
It is important to understand that orthorexia is not considered an eating disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-V). While individuals struggling with anorexia or bulimia have a focus on weight loss and calories, those with orthorexia become obsessed with healthy eating. And it is when healthy eating becomes an all-consuming activity that an individual is considered to be orthorexic.
Orthorexia is supremely isolating. Important social interactions occur around meals, and individuals who are focused on extremely rigid food habits often may withdraw and prefer to eat alone because of the anxiety they feel around foods that may not fit into their diet.
Orthorexia is a disordered eating pattern that can have serious health consequences. Recovery includes therapy and consultation with a registered dietitian to assess current eating habits and address the individual’s inaccurate beliefs about healthy eating (Marcason, 2013).
Kratina, K.(n.d.). Orthorexia nervosa. National Eating Disorders Association. Retrieved from www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.
Marcason, W. (2013). Orthorexia: An obsession with eating “pure.” Retrieved from www.eatright.org.
Can Over-involvement in the Kitchen Be a Warning Sign?
Imagine having a fear of heights. Also imagine that you are blindfolded and led to a platform which will raise you to an unspecified height. Imagine that you aren’t sure how far off the ground you are or how long you must stay on the platform. In fact, every piece of knowledge which would help calm your fears is kept secret from you.