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Disorder Archives - Suzanne Wallach

Caring For A Loved One With An Eating Disorder

Eating Disorder

There are several different types of eating disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), and each is categorized under the Disorder Class: Feeding and Eating Disorders. Eating disorders are neurological disorders that are loosely characterized by abnormal, irregular eating habits, and an extreme concern with one’s body weight or shape. The three most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. Eating disorders are serious illnesses that are often accompanied by life-threatening physical and mental health complications. Assuming the role of caretaker for a loved one struggling with an eating disorder can be an enormous and overwhelming undertaking. When caring for an individual with an eating disorder, it is essential to understand the specific eating disorder your loved one is battling and arm yourself with an array of coping techniques and strategies to offer the most useful support. As a caretaker faced with navigating a loved one’s eating disorder consider the following suggestions to set yourself up for success:

  • Learn as much as you can: Caregivers should educate themselves and try to understand the disorder by reading credible sources and speaking with professionals.
  • Practice self-care: It can be easy to lose sight of the importance of maintaining and prioritizing your own health and well-being. However, if you become emotionally or mentally unwell you will be doing a disservice to your loved one who is battling an eating disorder, as you will be unable to properly care for them.
  • Do not take things personally: Individuals who are struggling with an eating disorder did not choose their diagnosis and they usually do not intentionally mean to hurt their loved ones.
  • Acknowledge big and small accomplishments: Caregivers should always offer encouragement to their loved one by expressing pride for any accomplishments that align with and reinforce a healthy relationship with food.
  • Appearing preoccupied is to be expected: Keep in mind that obsessive thoughts of food, weight and body image are occupying your loved one’s mind from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep.
  • Pay attention to red flags: A caretaker must be able to recognize the warning signs that may indicate setbacks in one’s recovery.
  • Patience is key: Recovery is a long process and does not happen overnight.
  • Nobody is to blame: Although the exact cause behind why an individual develops an eating disorder remains unknown, research has found that it is likely due to a combination of psychological, biological, and environmental factors.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), an estimated 30 million U.S. adults will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives.

 

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.

5 Things To Remember When You Have BPD

Borderline personality disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic, mental health disorder. It is a complex psychological condition that is characterized by pervasive instability in moods, emotions, behaviors, and interpersonal relationships. This instability interferes with one’s ability to function in his or her daily life, long-term planning, as well as an individual’s sense of identity. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available for a person diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Still, having a diagnosis of and living with BDP can be challenging. Therefore, it can be helpful to bear the following in mind:

  • You are not manipulative or attention-seeking: A hallmark symptom of BPD is to experience a rapid onset of intense emotions. As a result, people with this condition can quickly become extremely distressed. When someone with BPD is upset, it is because they are genuinely distressed and struggling to cope with those feelings, while trying to manage an incredibly complex mental health condition. You deserve to have your distress listened to, respected, validated, and taken seriously.
  • You are loveable and can be in a healthy relationship: Relationships can feel like a whirlwind at times, because when someone with BPD, especially those struggling with chronic feelings of emptiness or loneliness, develops a real connection, the intensity is akin to any other emotion they experience. Your BPD, emotional sensitivity or mental health difficulties do not mean there is something unlovable about you. On the flip side, people with BPD have a lot of love to give, so much that it can be overwhelming. People with BPD can have successful long-term relationships, lasting for decades.
  • Do not believe everything you read: The is an array of content, across all entertainment platforms (e.g., websites, videos, movies, podcasts, etc.) that depict people with BPD in a negative light (e.g., abusers, monsters, bullies, etc.). Additionally, some books and research papers portray people with BPD as helpless, vengeful, or vindictive. Whilst mental health ailments are becoming better understood and more accurately represented, this shift seems to be occurring much more slowly for personality disorders, such as BPD, and the stigma continues to cause detrimental consequences.
  • You did not cause BPD: Although the cause of borderline personality disorder remains unknown, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) alludes to research that “suggests that genetics, brain structure and function, and environmental, cultural, and social factors play a role, or may increase the risk for developing borderline personality disorder.”
  • You are not alone: Borderline personality disorder is not an uncommon disorder, as an 1.4% of the adult population in America experience BPD.

 

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.

What’s The Most Serious Eating Disorder?

Eating disorders are defined by the American Psychiatric Association as “behavioral conditions characterized by severe and persistent disturbance in eating behaviors and associated distressing thoughts and emotions.” There are several different types and each are recognized as chronic psychological conditions listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) under the Disorder Class: Feeding and Eating Disorders. The pervasive symptoms associated with any type of eating disorder can cause adverse physiological consequences and interfere with one’s ability to function optimally in daily life. Experts consider anorexia nervosa, colloquially known as anorexia, to be the most severe type of eating disorder because it has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder.

Anorexia

Anorexia is characterized by “an abnormally low body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted perception of weight.” An individual struggling with anorexia may exhibit behavioral warning signs such as skipping meals, over-exercising, obsessively reading nutritional information, constantly weighing themselves, regularly making excuses not to eat, denial of a problem despite excessive weight loss, etc. People with anorexia engage in a cycle of self-starvation that often result in malnutrition including a lack of essential minerals and nutrients. When an individual with anorexia becomes severely malnourished, every organ in his or her body can suffer irreparable damage. There are myriad adverse short and long-term effects of anorexia, and without proper treatment anorexia can lead to life-threatening consequences.

Facts and Stats

There are several eye-opening facts and statistics related to anorexia, as well as many misconceptions about this eating disorder, such as:

  • There is currently no medication approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) for the treatment of anorexia.
  • 1 in 5 anorexia deaths are by suicide.
  • The mortality rate associated with anorexia is 12 times higher than the death rate of all causes of death for females aged 15 to 24 years old.
  • 20% of women diagnosed with anorexia have high levels of autistic traits.

Anorexia is considered one of the most lethal psychiatric disorders, carrying a sixfold increased risk of death. Further, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health assert that twenty percent of people suffering from anorexia will die prematurely due to complications related to their eating disorder.

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.

How To Help Someone With An Eating Disorder

There are several different types of eating disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), and each is categorized under the Disorder Class: Feeding and Eating Disorders. They are serious mental illnesses that are loosely characterized by abnormal, irregular eating habits, and an extreme concern with one’s body weight or shape. The three most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. Eating disorders can be debilitating and can adversely affect a person’s emotions, and health, and interfere with one’s ability to adequately function in his or her daily life. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), an estimated 30 million U.S. adults will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives. If left untreated, continued malnutrition that occurs with an untreated eating disorder can lead to severe short and long-term consequences. The best way to help someone with an eating disorder is to be able to recognize its warning signs and ultimately encourage them to pursue treatment.

Treatment

Every individual is different, and each person will require a tailored treatment plan to ensure all nuanced needs are met. 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. Depending on one’s needs, an eating disorder treatment plan could include any combination of the following components:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): Can be used to help an individual break unhealthy behavioral patterns associated with his or her eating disorder by identifying and replacing dysfunctional patterns.
  • Medications:
  • Anorexia nervosa: The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has yet to approve any medication specifically for the treatment of anorexia nervosa.
      • Bulimia nervosa: The only medication that is approved by the FDA for the treatment of bulimia nervosa is the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) known as Prozac (generically: fluoxetine).
      • Binge-eating disorder: The first medication the FDA approved as a treatment for the binge-eating disorder is called Vyvanse (generically: lisdexamfetamine). Antidepressants such as SSRIs (e.g., Prozac) could be prescribed to reduce the frequency of binge eating episodes. Anticonvulsant medications, such as Topiramate, could be prescribed to reduce the frequency of bingeing episodes.
  • Nutritional counseling: To facilitate weight restoration and body-weight management.
  • Medical care and/ or medical monitoring: To minimize and mitigate possible medical complications that can arise from eating disorders.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): DBT can benefit an individual diagnosed with an eating disorder by helping to foster self-management skills, lower stress, reduce anxiety, and learn to control destructive eating behaviors. DBT promotes acceptance and teaches individuals how to live in the present moment and cope with emotional triggers that may otherwise perpetuate unhealthy symptoms and behaviors associated with eating disorders.

The goal of treatment for an individual diagnosed with an eating disorder is to help them find a healthy and sustainable relationship with food. Although eating disorders are life-long conditions, with proper treatment and support, a person can learn to effectively manage their symptoms.

 

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.