The primary focus of any eating disorder treatment program aimed at helping those living with anorexia is to find balance and health in eating properly. But like any difficult undertaking, this is achieved by taking small steps that build upon each other – and lots of time and practice. Healing doesn’t happen overnight, but with perseverance, anorexia treatment can save the life of any person who is dedicated to learning how to live healthfully.
Top 3 Goals of Anorexia Treatment
- Addressing medical issues caused by long-term starvation. The body needs calories to perform basic body functions, and when it is deprived of this energy source, malnutrition can develop. As a result, major organs can cease to function properly, the whole body slows down in an effort to conserve calories, and in some cases, serious failure of major organ systems can occur. When entering anorexia treatment, the first order of business is to stabilize the patient medically and ensure that they slowly begin to rebuild their stores of vitamins and nutrients and mend the damage that occurred during active living with anorexia.
- Building toward a healthy weight. Because the gastrointestinal system and other organ systems in the body may be unable to handle large amounts of food or certain foods right away, another goal is to slowly move the patient toward a healthy weight. This can be difficult physically and emotionally, and it is done as slowly and safely as possible. During this process, the patient’s issues with food, incorrect perceptions about health and body image, and the behaviors exhibited toward food are addressed so they can maintain healthy weight on their own when they return home.
- Providing psychotherapeutic treatment to deal with underlying issues. No one develops anorexia simply to lose weight. Low self-esteem, body issues, environmental triggers, emotional stress or trauma, need for control – any one of these can be a driving force behind anorexia. It is important to address these issues thoroughly, exploring the truth behind the myths that make these problems feel so overwhelming, and learn new, healthy coping skills that don’t include self-starvation and deprivation.
Treating Anorexia and Co-occurring Substance Abuse
At Futures of Palm Beach, we help people and families struggling with the disease of drug or alcohol addiction, especially when complicated and accompanied by a co-occurring issue like anorexia. Since substance abuse, drug or alcohol dependencies, can often co-occur with an eating disorder, our individualized treatment program is designed to explore and change the underlying core issues that drive each individual’s addiction and disorder. We are here to help you gain control of your eating disorder and your addiction through our clinical, medical and wellness care programs. If you or a loved one is suffering from anorexia along with addiction, call Futures today for the help you need.