Ellen is twenty years old, intelligent, artistic, and beautiful. She should be living her best years, but instead, she is fighting for her life. The Netflix hit, To the Bone, depicts her fictional journey, but the battle against anorexia and other eating disorders is very real for many people. Even the actress who portrays Ellen, Lily Collins, has spoken publicly about her own fight against an eating disorder. Lady Gaga, Elton John, Kesha, Demi Lovato, Jane Fonda, Zayn Malik, Gabourey Sidibe, Russell Brand, and Zosia Mamet are only a handful of the many celebrities who has also raised their voices to speak about the realities of battling bulimia, anorexia, and other types of eating disorders. And as many as 30 million Americans understand as they are fighting an eating disorder too.
“Girls developed eating disorders when our culture developed a standard of beauty that they couldn’t obtain by being healthy. When unnatural thinness became attractive, girls did unnatural things to be thin.” —Mary Pipher
Some might characterize eating disorders as a picky phase that teenage girls have and then grow out of. This perception, however, greatly minimizes the seriousness of these mental disorders. In fact, these illnesses affect far more than people’s minds. Eating disorders wage an attack indiscriminately—upon young and old, male and female. Eating disorders also wage a holistic attack upon people’s minds and bodies. In fact, anorexia has the highest rate of death among psychiatric disorders. Thus, treatment must counter-attack in a holistic way—healing people’s minds and bodies. Unfortunately, only about 10 percent of people who are battling any form of eating disorder have the medical and psychological care they need.
And there are many options for excellent care. Thriveworks San Antonio offers therapy for eating disorders, and our staff has helped many people find the right treatment plan they need for their particular symptoms. We understand what holistic healing takes, and we are ready to support you.
Signs and Symptoms of Eating Disorders
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) outlines the symptoms and signs of several eating disorder. Most people are vaguely familiar with anorexia and bulimia, but the DSM-5 gives a detailed description.
The DSM-5 describes anorexia nervosa:
- Experiencing one’s own body as much heavier and larger than it is.
- Feeling disdain for one’s body—in particular, its shape, size, and weight.
- An illogical and intense fear of being fat or gaining weight. In response to this fear, people often sabotage the maintenance of a healthy weight.
- Limiting food intake so that a dangerously low body weight is achieved and maintained (as compared to normal standards for one’s sex, age, physical health, and development).
The DSM-5 describes bulimia nervosa:
- Repetitive incidents of binge eating that includes…
- Lost control over how much and what food is eaten.
- Eating more food during the binge than other people could (or would) eat under similar circumstances.
- Responding to food binges by attempts at losing weight that employ unhealthy means of weight loss. For example, these may include self-induced vomiting, fasting too often or too long, exercising an unreasonable amount, or misuse of diuretics and laxatives.
- When one’s body size and shape dominates one’s self-image such that other important aspects of identity are downplayed (for example, experiences, personality, skills, and intellect).
Possible Treatments for an Eating Disorder
Because eating disorders manifest in unique ways, one key to healing is often working with a mental health professional. Therapists and counselors understand the different treatment options available and can often work with each client to find the right treatment plan that meets their unique needs. Some of those treatment options include…
- Inpatient / Hospital Treatment is an intervention that seeks to stabilize individuals when their health is in imminent danger. When people need 24-hour care, it is available to them. The aim of hospitalization is stabilization so that people can then pursue other treatments for healing. Often, hospitalization is a short-term option.
- Residential Eating Disorders Treatment is an intervention that allows people to move into a facility that allows them to dedicate 100 percent of their efforts to healing. All the psychological and physical care they need is consolidated into one place, and their daily schedule is crafted to meet their unique emotional, nutritional, and physical needs.
- Outpatient Eating Disorders Treatment is an intervention that allows people to receive care while maintaining much of their normal lives. They may live in their own homes and continue with their work or school schedules. Nonetheless, they will have regularly scheduled appointments (sometimes, multiple times a week) with professionals such as nutritionists, psychologists, and physicians.
- Continuing Care is an intervention for those whose eating disorder is in remission, but they desire on-going support that often leads to deeper healing. As people heal, they are often strong enough to address deep wounds they have suffered and find even greater levels of healing.
Setting Up an Appointment at Thriveworks San Antonio, TX for Anorexia or Bulimia
Thriveworks San Antonio offers therapy for eating disorders, and we are ready to support your healing. When you contact our office, know that we have done what we can to make the process of scheduling an appointment as easy as possible. A real person will answer your call and schedule your appointment. Weekend and evening sessions are offered. New clients frequently meet their therapist within 24 hours. We also accept many forms of insurance.
Let’s heal together. Contact Thriveworks San Antonio today.