Eating Disorder Treatment at our Virginia residential center specializes in Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating, & Orthorexia Recovery.
An eating disorder is a complex psychological and medical condition that can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, relationships with others, and overall functioning. Though an eating disorder may have once helped a person cope with circumstances in their life, it often leads to intense emotional pain and suffering. Without some form of intervention or treatment, an eating disorder can become chronic, have devastating emotional and physical consequences, and be potentially life-threatening.
Anorexia nervosa, also referred to as anorexia, is a complex eating disorder that affects millions of people each year in the United States and around the world. Anorexia is characterized by a preoccupation with body weight or shape and limiting food intake, resulting in unhealthy weight loss. It may also be accompanied by other behaviors such as throwing up or vomiting after meals, the use of substances like diet pills, or intense exercising. Though it often develops during teenage years or adolescence, anorexia does not discriminate between age, gender, race or class.
Bulimia nervosa, also referred to as bulimia, is a serious eating disorder that has potentially fatal medical and psychological consequences. It is characterized by repeated instances of eating significantly more food than what most people would eat in a short period of time, followed by one or more behaviors to attempt to compensate for the food eaten. These behaviors, also known as purging or compensatory behaviors, might include throwing up or vomiting, intense exercising, or the use of substances like diet pills or laxatives. Bulimia is associated with significant impairment in the individual's life and occurs, on average, once per week for at least three months.
Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder in the United States, affecting an estimated 3.5% of women, 2% of men, and 1.6% of adolescents. It is characterized by recurring instances of binge eating, which can be described as eating large amounts of food in a short period of time accompanied by a loss of control. The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once per week for at least three months. Unlike anorexia and bulimia, people suffering with BED do not engage in purging or compensatory behaviors, such as throwing up or exercising intensely to counter the food eaten.
While Orthorexia is not officially recognized in the DSM-5, providers are seeing this more frequently in their practices and treatment centers. Because it is potentially a precursor to developing a full-blown eating disorder, it is vital that therapists and dietitians know how to identify orthorexia. Orthorexia is a proposed distinct eating disorder characterized by extreme or excessive preoccupation with eating healthy food. The orthorexic client obsesses about healthy eating instead of obsessing about losing weight and being thin.
Compulsive overeating also known as food addiction is a term described by mental health professionals and eating disorder specialists for individuals who eat a large amount of food in a short period and feel “out of control” when it comes time to their eating habits. This intense urge to consume a large amount of food in a short period is triggered by underlying feelings of self-doubt, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and control issues. Compulsive overeating is not considered an eating disorder per say and is not included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM V), but is rather a term used to describe an unhealthy eating behavior that can be described as comfort eating or a food addiction. Compulsive overeating affects both men and women of all ages as opposed to the majority of eating disorders which have a greater tendency to affect more women than men.
Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, or ARFID, is a new diagnosis added to the DSM -5 in the category of eating or feeding disturbance. ARFID is characterized by an apparent lack of interest in eating or food, avoidance based on the characteristics of food, concern about aversive consequences of eating, as manifested by persistent failure to meet appropriate nutritional and or energy needs. There is often significant weight loss or failure to achieve expected weight gain, significant nutritional deficiency, dependence on enteral feeding or oral nutrition supplements, and marked psychosocial functioning.
We firmly believe that teens and adolescents need specialized treatment when dealing with mental health disorders. Treatment with Center For Discovery is specially designed to provide each adolescent with the personalized treatment necessary to safely affect real behavioral, social, emotional and spiritual growth. The central goal is to provide effective and intensive treatment in a treatment setting where connection, trust, and growth can be fostered. The validated treatment program focuses on helping teens and adolescents learn about and deal with their disorders and the issues surrounding them in order to support long-term recovery.
Traumatic lifetime experiences like death, illness, loss, abandonment or perception of abandonment, bullying, and forms of abuse significantly impact the psyche and physiological state of the individual. Trauma is also a subjective experience and individuals with a sensitive temperament are likely to have the experience of trauma from experiences that others may not perceive as traumatic. Exposure to prolonged states of stress caused by trauma can impact functioning and health and immunity, as well as lead to the development of an eating disorder and co-occurring disorders like depression and substance abuse.
Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States for individuals 15-44 years of age. Lost wages, medications, psychotherapy treatment, suicide treatment, co-occurring mental health disorders and associated medical diseases all contribute to this disability cost. Major depressive disorder is characterized by a sad mood, inability to concentrate, loss of interest and other symptoms that affect how an individual thinks and feels. This disorder can result in stress at home, poor workplace performance, and turmoil in relationships.
Anxiety disorders consist of generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, panic disorder and agoraphobia and are characterized by an intense state of worry and fear resulting from a threatening event or life stressor. Anxiety can be normal in cases of everyday stress or serious life stressors and individuals usually overcome this worry once the stressor dissipates however in individuals with anxiety disorder, their state of worry becomes more intensified over time.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder defined by the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as having repetitive and persistent thoughts that are intrusive in nature. These distressful thoughts are either repressed or carried out by compulsions, which are repetitive actions in response to the persistent thoughts carried out in order to relieve the tension and anxiety brought by the thoughts. Examples of compulsions include tapping, counting, praying, checking, hand washing, cleaning, and repeating words over and over again.
Self-injury is the purposeful action of inducing physical harm to oneself and is a very severe sign of emotional distress. According to the Statistical and Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), self-harm is formally known as nonsuicidal self-injury disorder (NSSID) as these self-destructive behaviors are performed without any intention of suicide. Adolescents are at the highest risk for self-harm injury as many studies state that roughly 15% of teenagers and 17-35% of college students have inflicted self-harmful behaviors on themselves. This disorder is increasing among the young population and can have severe consequences if not treated appropriately. Cutting, burning, skin carving, biting, poisoning, purposeful interference with wound healing, extreme skin picking and hair pulling are all examples of self-injury or self-harm.
Bipolar affective disorder or manic-depressive illness is a mood disorder characterized by periods of profound depression that alternate with periods of excessive elation and irritable mood known as mania. Individuals will suffer from extreme mood swings that interfere with personal relationships, occupational function, and daily activities. It is common for bipolar disorder to be apart of a co-occurring disorder, which refers to mental health illnesses that co-occur with substance abuse disorders such as opioid, alcohol or cocaine abuse. Bipolar disorder can often co-occur with anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder and when these disorders co-occur, there is a higher likelihood of substance abuse and suicide attempts. Bipolar disorder can be characterized into three types: bipolar disorder type I (BPI), bipolar disorder type II (BPII) and cyclothymia and differences depend on the frequency, duration and severity of the alternating symptoms.