Posts Tagged ‘For Providers’

Why Eating Disorders are Serious

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Eating disorders are biologically based mental illnesses that are influenced by an individual’s environment, society, and psychological makeup. An eating disorder is an illness that causes an individual to experience disturbances in their eating habits and negative food or body-related thoughts and feelings. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) recognizes five kinds of eating disorders:

Anorexia Nervosa. Anorexia is characterized by extended and extreme food restriction and malnourishment that causes dramatic and sustained weight loss. Anorexia often presents with a fear of gaining weight and other body image issues.

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). ARFID is a feeding or eating disorder typically driven by fear, a lack of interest in food, or an avoidance of certain foods, resulting in continued failure to meet an individual’s nutritional needs. ARFID often presents without a drive for thinness.

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A Virtual Tour of The Emily Program

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The Emily Program is a national leader in eating disorder treatment. We believe that individuals are unique and that effective eating disorder treatment requires an awareness of the genetic, biological, psychological, social, and cultural impacts on each person. With this integrative approach in mind, we help our clients recover from all types of eating disorders.

The Emily Program offers a full continuum of care. We offer residential treatment, day treatment, and outpatient treatment options in MN, OH, PA, and WA. If you are unsure if you are struggling with disordered eating, you can take our online quiz to learn more. If you have an eating disorder and are looking to speak with someone about treatment options, contact our admissions team at 1-888-364-5977.

At The Emily Program, we know that one of the greatest barriers to treatment is a lack of information. In order to eliminate one hurdle, we filmed virtual tours of our Emily Program locations. An example tour from our Cleveland location is below. We hope this video helps folks to feel at home with The Emily Program and more comfortable pursuing treatment.

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Physical Effects of Bulimia Nervosa

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What is Bulimia?

Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by bingeing and purging. People diagnosed with bulimia frequently binge on food, eating thousands of calories in a single episode. Feelings of shame and disgust often accompany these binge eating episodes, leading to purging behaviors such as vomiting, laxative abuse, over-exercising and/or fasting. This compensatory behavior is a tell-tale sign that an individual is suffering from bulimia. Despite attempts to lose weight by purging, those with bulimia generally maintain a body weight that is normal or slightly above average.

According to the DSM-5, the following criteria must be met for an individual to be diagnosed with bulimia (please note that if all of the following are not met, an individual may still have a serious eating disorder that requires treatment):

  1. Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:
    1. Eating, within a two- hour window, an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most people would eat during a similar period of time and under similar circumstances.
    2. Lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g., a feeling that you cannot stop eating or control how much you are eating).
  1. Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or other medications, fasting, or excessive exercise.
  2. The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors both occur, on average, at least once a week for three months.
  3. Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight.
  4. Binging or purging does not occur exclusively during episodes of behavior that would be common in those with anorexia nervosa.

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Episode 2: Eating Disorders 101

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Eating disorders are confusing and complex. On this month’s episode, host Claire Holtz sits down with Emily Program Site Director Jennifer Nelson to discuss what eating disorders are and what we can do to help those affected.

Episode show notes:

In this episode of Peace Meal, we discuss what eating disorders are, what to do if we are worried about ourselves or a loved one, and how to support those in recovery. Emily Program Site Director Jennifer Nelson answers the most common questions asked by those considering eating disorder treatment and offers advice to support people. 

About the podcast:

Peace Meal is an Emily Program podcast that discusses topics related to eating disorders, body image issues, and how society may contribute to distorted thinking.

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Eating Disorder Signs to Watch for in Your Patients Over the Holidays

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For those living with an eating disorder, the holidays may be the toughest time of the year. Holidays are often synonymous with large amounts of food, increased stress, and extended periods of time with family—which are all factors that can exacerbate eating disorder symptoms. Because eating disorder thoughts and behaviors can increase during the holidays, it’s important to be especially vigilant of your patients this time of year.

There are many common signs and symptoms healthcare providers should look for that denote the presence of an eating disorder. During the holidays, certain symptoms may become more noticeable, specifically the following:

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Eating Disorders, Trauma and Intimacy Difficulties

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**Please be aware that this blog covers topics of trauma and abuse. Please use your own discretion when reading and speak to your therapist or support system as needed. If you need someone to speak to about sexual assault or abuse, reach out to RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE. If you need to talk with someone or need help fleeing domestic violence, reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

The existence of an eating disorder largely impacts a person’s ability and desire to be in sexual and/or emotionally intimate relationships. In those with anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, compulsive overeating, or OSFED, one of the main symptoms is a concern about body weight, image, size and/or shape. These body image disturbances and obsessive negative thoughts can create barrier to entering into an intimate relationship or can prevent intimacy in current relationships. Oftentimes, those with eating disorders struggle getting close to others because their eating disorder becomes their primary focus.

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