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Eating disorders are defined as “serious medical illnesses marked by severe disturbances to a person’s eating behavior,” and are characterized by abnormal, irregular eating habits, and an extreme concern with one’s body weight or shape. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) list different types of eating disorders all of which are, respectively, categorized under the Disorder Class: Feeding and Eating Disorders. The best way to help someone with an eating disorder is to be able to recognize its warning signs and encourage them to pursue treatment. While treatment for eating disorders generally requires professional, medical, and psychological intervention, there are a variety of ways you can support your loved one and their recovery process. Consider the following suggestions, provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):

  • Learn about eating disorders: The more information you know, the better equipped you will be to help your loved one avoid pitfalls and cope with challenges.
  • Remain optimistic: Remind yourself that things can change and reassure your loved one that recovery is possible.
  • Recognize and adjust any accommodating or enabling behaviors: Enabling behaviors refer to behaviors that you exhibit which help to reduce your loved one’s distress from the eating disorder (e.g., cleaning up vomit, normalizing being absent at mealtimes, etc.), but that collude with the disorder and cover up the negative consequences of their behaviors.
  • Be mindful of triggers: Avoid discussions about weight, shape, food, diets, and do not make negative statements about your own body in front of your loved one.
  • Maintain open lines of communication: Create an emotionally safe environment for your loved one to share and check in with them regularly. Listen more than you speak, remain engaged, and make sure they feel heard. Avoid judgment and resist the urge to advise or criticize. Even if you are unable to identify with or simply do not understand what they are going through, it is important to validate your loved one’s emotions by affirming their feelings.
  • Model a balanced relationship with your own food: Do not be afraid to eat normally in front of someone with an eating disorder because it can set an example of a healthy relationship with food.
  • Take care of yourself: Engage in activities (e.g., regular exercise, nutritious eating, self-care practices, ample sleep, etc.) that promote physical and mental well-being.

Eating disorders are chronic mental health conditions that require professional, long-term treatment. Every individual is different and will benefit most from a customized treatment plan when it comes to recovering from an eating disorder. The treatment plan for an individual diagnosed with an eating disorder will be directly informed by several contributing factors, such as: one’s exact diagnosis, how long he or she has been actively engaging in unhealthy eating habits, his or her personal health history, and the presence of any co-morbid disorders. Treatment plans often include a multidisciplinary approach. Recovering from an eating disorder is a process that takes time, so it is important to have patience and compassion for your loved one.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

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