"Eating disorders affect both men and women, but are particularly common among young women. Many people develop these illnesses in their adolescent years and struggle with them in silence. It"s important to identify these behaviors early on, because they can have long-term effects on the patient"s physical and mental health. In some cases, eating disorders can lead to death due to malnutrition or suicide.When looking at someone with an eating disorder, we try to take a whole-person, multi-disciplinary approach. We collaborate with the patient"s Primary Care Physician, other counselors, and family for a full assessment. We look at their functionality, their physical health, mental health, relationships, and any underlying co-morbid mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD. We also search for any family or situational issues that may be contributing to the eating disorder itself.Once we determine which eating disorder the patient is dealing with, and the factors that are contributing to the issue, we are able to explore treatment methods. We can also provide referrals for intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization, or residential treatment depending on the severity and circumstances.
Eating disorders can be emotionally, financially, and physically devastating, and can cause significant strife in families. This is because eating disorders have to do with much more than the number on the scale; these disorders affect how patients perceive themselves in the world and in their relationships. There are underlying difficulties or issues which lead to the individual wanting to control their eating or caloric intake. In order to reach recovery, the issues beyond the eating disorder(s) need to be addressed."