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Effective & Lasting Treatment For Eating Disorders, Disordered Eating, & Body Image Issues

Treatment is crucially important for people with eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image issues. The earlier they can start treatment, the better. Many types of eating disorders can come with life threatening side effects. That said, even if a person’s symptoms are not life threatening, their mental, emotional, and physical states are being impacted for a period of time. A lack of control with unhealthy food related behaviors can make a person’s daily life unmanageable.

The National Eating Disorders Association reports that more than 70% of those struggling with food related behaviors will not seek treatment, due to stigma around the condition. As a company that prides itself on breaking down stigmas around mental health, Modern Intimacy is committed to providing a safe, non-judgmental space for effective treatment.

Who Is Affected?

Anyone can find themselves struggling. People with eating disorders come from all walks of life. However, there are some specific precursors that can make someone more susceptible. A history of trauma, family history of eating disorders, addiction or mental illness can increase risk.

Some who experience eating disorders can suffer with other co-occurring mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, or personality disorders, etc.

It’s important to mention that while women are the most popular demographic for struggling with these conditions, many men, trans and non-binary people face the same concerns.

Disordered Eating Vs. Eating Disorders? Two Serious Issues That Deserve Treatment

How do you know if you are experiencing are the product of a diagnosable eating disorder or disordered eating? Behaviors like binging and purging, fear of gaining weight, or consuming large amounts of food compulsively can be part of both. The symptoms can often overlap and be very similar in how they show up. This is why it’s often helpful for one to work with a mental health professional for clarity.

People start to recover when learn how to manage the symptoms. One way to distinguish eating disorders from disordered eating patterns can present in the degree and severity of symptoms. A person with symptoms of disordered eating can do so without meeting the necessary diagnostic criteria for a full diagnosis.

If symptoms go ignored and untreated, Disordered eating can turn into a diagnosable eating disorder, like Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa. It is especially important to get help if you have any co-occurring symptoms of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and trauma as these mental health issues can exacerbate symptoms of disordered eating.

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Timing Matters: Treating Disordered Eating And Eating Disorders Early

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental health condition, due to the acute impact on physical health. Due to how the severe unchecked symptoms can become, it’s important to get help as soon as possible.

Asking for help can often be difficult for those struggling. They may not be aware of how severe the condition has become. Many also struggle with feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment, anger, anxiety, fear, depression, that can impede on one’s decision to seek help.

Individualized Treatment Plans For Eating Disorders: Nutrition, Mental Health, & Medical Intervention

Developing a treatment plan for eating disorders is typically not a one-size-fits-all protocol. An individualized treatment plan is best, and is designed around each person’s unique symptoms, health considerations, co-occurring mental health conditions, history of trauma(s), and necessary safety supports. 

Working with a treatment team is best when you start recovery. This can look like having a therapist to address the psychological impacts of the disorder, a physician to address any medical concerns, and a nutritionist or dietitian to help develop a sustainable diet. Support groups are a helpful addition, for added community, support, peer accountability, and connection. 

Sometimes a higher levels of care is recommended. If that is the case, participating in intensive outpatient or inpatient care may be necessary to help deter more serious consequences of the condition.

Anxiety And Eating Disorders: Treating The Root Of The Problem As Well As

In many cases, anxiety is not a new feeling for those struggling with eating disorders. For many, the development of an eating disorder starts with the desire to control their situations and environment. When they feel out of control, they can often rely on maladaptive coping mechanisms such as attempting to gain control via food, exercise, and an attempt to lose weight. Controlling these domains can provide a temporary feeling of relief from anxiety. However, that relief is often fleeting. 

For some, treatment for an eating disorder also means incorporating treatment for anxiety. Comprehensive treatment for co-occurring anxiety and eating disorders often incorporates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), or medication, and support groups. Of course, each person’s treatment plan is dependent on their therapeutic goals and needs.

Body Image Issues: Finding Body Acceptance, Body Neutrality, And Body Positivity With Treatment

Body image issues can be a significant struggle that can impact a person’s sense of self, confidence, relationships, etc. For many, struggling to maintain a positive body image might feel like an uphill battle. Mental health treatment can teach you how to cultivate emotional freedom from negative body image and self-esteem.

Body acceptance, body neutrality, and body positivity are some of the most common terms that can help you on your journey of self-love and radical self-acceptance. All three have tenets that people can use to challenge body dissatisfaction, and build a healthier relationship with their body. A message that leans more on acceptance and sovereignty.

Through treatment, one has the opportunity to explore the various types of ways one can learn to view their body. This might look different for various people. The goal is to find a reframe that is most healing and helpful for a compassionate relationship with yourself.

Whether you are experiencing an eating disorder or disordered eating, you deserve validation, empathy, and understanding. Remember… no one is beyond help. Contact use now to explore how individual therapy can help.

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