Treatment for an Eating Disorder

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR EATING DISORDERS?

When looking at eating disorders there is invariably a history of life shaping events such as trauma that has affected thought and behaviour. These self-defeating patterns are created by the individual primarily as a way of coping. 

This ‘unique fingerprint’ means that there is a need for a bespoke treatment plan. These behaviours need to be addressed as part of the healing process. 

At Camino we draw on a combination of the following to create that plan:

  • Psychotherapy an integrative approach - talk therapy and/or experiential therapy (practical therapies such as Equine Assisted Therapy, Art Therapy, EMDR, etc.)- including trauma resolution and a family component.
  • Insight into mind, body, emotional/spiritual connection. Raising self awareness through breathwork, meditation, yoga and martial arts.
  • Education and Counselling in diet and nutrition.
  • A combination of psychiatry and medication.
  • Hospitalisation (only when necessary) or Medical Intervention and ongoing medical health care.

WHAT IS AN EATING DISORDER?

Eating Disorders are characterised by repetitive, unhealthy patterns of thinking and behaviour relating to nutrition, body image, body mass and consumption of food. 

It is important to appreciate that there is always a psychological and emotional component.

Fear, anxiety, shame and control play a major role. They involve certain rituals which when repeated have a binding and stabilising effect, resulting in a temporary sense of relief from anxiety.

Eating Disorders are so powerful because they tie into numerous centres and pathways of the brain. Our sense of identity, safety, comfort, shame, secrecy, control, pleasure, confidence, sexuality, achievement/success, purity, cleanliness, purgation, atonement, sacrifice and piousness are just some of the facets of ourselves that are affected by our relationship to food and eating habits.

The most common eating disorders such as compulsive overeating, binge eating, bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa significantly impact the body’s ability to receive proper or adequate nutrition. 

This invariably results in adverse effects on a person’s physical, emotional and mental health. More often than not this not only affects the individual but impacts on those around them.

These conditions can sometimes remain hidden or ignored for long periods. The result of this is that the problem progresses and becomes more severe.

WHAT IS ANOREXIA NERVOSA?

Anorexia Nervosa is a complex psychological state where the individual displays an irrational fear of weight gain, to the extent that they restrict food intake in order to starve their body and hence are unable to maintain body weight within safe parameters. 

Anorexia Nervosa is characterised by a low body mass to height ratio and distorted body image.

Often in addition there exists a fear or abstinence of/from certain food groups (usually fats and carbohydrates). In an effort to control this they might become obsessive about food, calorie content, cooking for and/or feeding others.

WHAT IS BINGE EATING?

Binge eating is a long term condition where the person repeatedly consumes more food than needed to satisfy hunger or feed their body. 

A sufferer can become oblivious to the type or quantity of food that they are buying/eating. Each person can be drawn to  specific food groups which vary from person to person.

Often there is a persistent feeling of remorse and disgust after eating. It becomes an obsession sometimes resulting in hiding or isolating to eat. It is not uncommon to eat despite not being hungry.

WHAT IS BULIMIA NERVOSA?

Bulimia Nervosa is defined by a binge and purge cycle where the fear of weight gain or calories consumed must be removed in some way. 

Self induced vomiting, laxative and/or diuretic abuse are called purging. Non purging bulimics may use exercise and fasting.

All of these conditions can have serious and permanent effects on the body: oral/dental corrosion due to stomach acid burning sensitive tissue, inflammation of neck (glands and oesophagus), burst blood vessels in capillaries especially in the eyes, poor complexion, drooping jowls or excess skin around the mouth and jaws due to stretching whilst vomiting,  ulcers, reduced immunity, frequent trips to the bathroom after meals.

WHAT IS ORTHOREXIA?

This is a condition where the individual feels in some way impure, guilty, anxious and may experience a sense of failure if they consume anything deemed “unhealthy” (usually processed foods, fat and carbohydrates). 

These sensations can be triggered by simply being near these foods or anyone who eats them. This is a serious condition highly obsessive and self harming.

The physical side effects  are similar to anorexia in regards to starvation and malnutrition although less severe. 

An inordinate amount of time is spent thinking about food, planning and shopping for meals, researching ingredients.

WHY CAMINO?

Here at the Camino Recovery Centre we have a dedicated team of professionals who are well versed in eating disorders and how to recover from them. 

We offer a diverse spectrum of therapeutic interventions carried out by a multidisciplinary and highly experienced team motivated by a desire to help. 

Paramount in the process is that each client is treated with empathy, dignity and respect. We appreciate that everyone has individual needs and the sophistication of our team enables us to select treatments best suited to the individual. 

This is all done in a luxurious and non clinical environment in order to reduce distress and enhance the experience.

At Camino we want to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatment for you. Therefore an initial assessment of your needs helps us to establish whether we are a appropriate fit.

There may be circumstances in which we feel ethically bound to refer you to a facility more suited to your individual needs. Call us to find out more about how we can help.

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