Recovering from an eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa, can feel like a long and challenging process. Eating disorders do not develop overnight and cannot be cured on a timeline. However, with the right aftercare steps in place and a good support system, individuals who have been diagnosed with a serious mental health disorder, such as anorexia nervosa, can achieve recovery. For those interested in finding a comprehensive anorexia nervosa recovery center, it is important to consider the different step-down or post-treatment options each program offers.
What Is Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia nervosa is a potentially life-threatening psychological disorder characterized by obsession with weight loss or difficulties in maintaining a weight appropriate for one’s age, height and stature. Many people with the condition also have a distorted body image. People with anorexia nervosa generally work to restrict the number of calories and/or the types of foods they eat each day.
This serious mental health disorder can affect people of all ages, genders, races and social backgrounds. However, most people with an anorexia nervosa diagnosis develop the disorder during adolescence.
What Are the Warning Signs of Anorexia Nervosa?
While each person is different, some of the most common warning signs of anorexia nervosa include:
- Refusal to eat certain foods or implementing a highly restricted diet in an effort to control weight
- A general preoccupation with food, dieting, exercise, counting calories, etc.
- Cooking meals for others without eating
- Refusal to eat meals around others; hiding or hoarding food
- The inability to maintain a body weight appropriate for one’s age, height and general build
- Menstrual irregularities or the loss of periods altogether
- Muscle weakness and dizziness
- Dental issues that may include cavities, enamel erosion and discolored teeth
- Consistently finding reasons to skip meal times or social situations that involve food
Benefits of Early Intervention for Individuals with an Anorexia Nervosa Diagnosis
Early intervention for someone with an anorexia nervosa diagnosis could mean the difference between life and death. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any known mental health condition and, when left untreated, can lead to a number of physical and psychological health risks. If parents or loved ones notice early signs of anorexia nervosa, they should speak with the individual and seek professional help as soon as possible. As families choose the right anorexia nervosa recovery center for their loved one, it is important to look for a program that offers a comprehensive treatment plan, including state-of-the-art medical and psychological care.
Anorexia Nervosa Aftercare: What Do Families Need to Know?
Before a patient discharges from an anorexia nervosa recovery center, they should have a complete aftercare plan set in place. Returning home without a solid aftercare plan could set the patient up for failure, with much greater odds for relapse. The outside world provides many different triggers to someone recovering from anorexia nervosa. A simple act, such as browsing the internet or shopping at the grocery store could suddenly trigger eating disordered thoughts and behaviors.
Making a commitment to an aftercare plan is the best way to slowly transition back into day-to-day life after being discharged from treatment. Patients have the option for continued eating disorder counseling through day treatment services, group counseling sessions, family-based therapy and more.
Contact Oliver-Pyatt Centers Today
Interested in learning more about the comprehensive eating disorder treatment programs available at our anorexia nervosa recovery center? Call 866-511-4325 to speak with our team or contact us online today for more information.