The most common types of eating disorders include:
- Anorexia nervosa, wherein the individual implements strict eating habits and limits caloric intake due to a negative perception of their body image. Symptoms include – malnutrition, the unhealthy pursuit of thinness, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, fear of gaining weight, restrictive eating habits including severe fasting and body dysmorphia.
- Bulimia nervosa, wherein the individual binges large amounts of food, feels guilt or shame over the binge, and later forces themselves to vomit or otherwise expel the food prior to digestion. Symptoms include; frequent vomiting or use of laxatives and enemas, excessive exercise, body dysmorphia, frequent binge eating, frequent trips to the bathroom after meals and fear of gaining weight.
- Binge eating disorder, wherein the individual binges an inordinately large amount of food in a short amount of time, sometimes in a trance-like state. Binges are often followed by feelings of guilt or shame, which is damaging to the individual’s mental health. Binge eating disorder is distinct from bulimia nervosa in that the individual typically does not purge their food after binging.
- Rumination disorder, a shorter-term eating disorder wherein the individual chews and swallows food, then regurgitates it and repeats this process until eventually spitting it out.
- Selective eating disorder, which is essentially an extreme form of picky eating, to an unhealthy extent. Symptoms include eating the same meals every single day, such as plain spaghetti for lunch and dinner, with no substitutions or additions.
- Pregorexia, or an eating disorder developed during pregnancy. Symptoms can include an obsession over body image or reverting back to their pre-pregnancy body.
- Other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED), which is a catchall term that recognizes the existence of a type of eating disorder in patients who don’t quite meet the diagnostic criteria for more common eating disorders like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Symptoms include:
Eating disorders of all types are incredibly damaging to the physical body as well as to the psyche. If you experience any of the following side effects, it is critical to seek treatment as soon as possible:
- Acid reflux
- Brittle hair and nails
- Always feeling cold
- Stomach lining irritation
- Damage to teeth enamel
- Frequent sore throat and/or raspy voice
- Hormone imbalances
- Sudden or rapid weight gain or weight loss
More severe and potentially life-threatening side effects include:
- Organ or multi-organ failure
- Brittle bones
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Low birth weight of babies in cases of pregorexia
Are there different eating disorder treatment types?
Your eating disorder treatment will be largely dependent on the type of eating disorder you are facing, as well as the level of care you require. From there, your specific therapy modality will depend on your treatment plan defined by your therapist as well as the type of treatment you are interested in.
- Levels of care refer to how much support an individual needs in their treatment plan. In order from most supportive to most independent, the levels of care in eating disorder treatment are comprised of:
- Inpatient treatment
- Residential treatment
- Partial hospitalization program
- Intensive outpatient program
- Outpatient treatment
- Therapies used in eating disorder treatment
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Narrative therapy
- Creative arts therapies
- Animal-assisted therapy
- Holistic therapies
- Medication management
- Nutrition education and support
What are the benefits of eating disorder treatment?
The beauty of eating disorder treatment is that it meets you where you are. If you are severely malnourished or dehydrated, you will need immediate inpatient care, followed by monitoring and support in a residential treatment facility. If you want to change your mindset so you no longer feel disgusted or ashamed after a binge, an intensive outpatient program might be best for you.
Eating disorder treatment is much more complex than simply changing how much you eat in a day. It truly reframes your way of thinking in order to let go of the dangerous habits that have been established over the years, such as unhealthy exercise regimens, a negative relationship with food, and a harmful body image. You will learn to view food as something that nourishes you, rather than something that makes you feel disgusted with yourself. You will cherish your body as the thing that carried you through your years of being unwell, against the odds. You will learn to view yourself in a healthy and beautiful light.
The first step towards eating disorder treatment is making a phone call. Seeds of Hope is dedicated to your full recovery. We believe in a holistic approach to eating disorder treatment with personalized care plans to ensure you feel comfortable and confident with the journey. Reach out at (610)-644-6464 to begin treatment for your eating disorder today