Comprehensive, evidence-based treatment for Anorexia to restore mind, body and relationships
Although rooted in an intense fear of gaining weight, anorexia nervosa is not about food at all. It is a complicated biopsychosocial medical and mental heath disorder that involves biological, psychological, and sociological components. It has the highest mortality rate of any mental health disorder.
People suffering with anorexia often equate thinness with self-worth. They may even take persistent and extreme actions to interfere with or prevent weight gain—despite an already low body weight. But it’s important to remember that anorexia is a mental health issue, and its mental and behavioral aspects can be as serious as the physical.
Anorexia: Know the signs and symptoms
Anorexia manifests in through a variety of physical and psychological symptoms. Some common signs of anorexia nervosa include:
- Severe restriction of calories & fluids
- Excessive or rapid weight loss
- Cooking elaborate meals for others but not eating them
- Frequently skipping meals or refusing to eat
- Denial of hunger or making excuses for not eating
- Lying about how much food is eaten
- Avoidance or fear of eating socially
- Covering the body in layers of clothing
- Lack of interest in relationships & activities
- Body hatred & body image distortion
What causes Anorexia?
Anorexia is not a choice. At KellerLife, we believe the development of eating disorders is multifaceted, based on:
- Genetics – Genetic makeup may actually make a person more susceptible to becoming anorexic. If you or your loved one have a genetic tendency toward perfectionism, sensitivity and perseverance, take note. These are all traits associated with anorexia.
- Psychological profile – People who suffer with anorexia typically have a type-A personality - they are driven, perfectionistic, and extremely self-critical. They often have a co-occurring disorder, such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or another anxiety or depressive disorder. They may be obsessed with perfection, which can add to the distortion that they’re never thin enough, which drives them to restrict calories and resist food, regardless of physical hunger.
- Environmental/cultural influences – We’ve come a long way, but to this day, our culture tends to associate thinness with success, social status and self-worth. Peer pressure - especially among young girls - can also be a major factor in a desire to be thin. Fad diets drive the message that dieting is better, when in fact, dieting is the number one gateway behavior to an eating disorder.
What are Anorexia’s risk factors?
Genetics – If you or your loved one have a parent or sibling who had anorexia, your level of vulnerability for the disorder is increased.
Dieting and starvation – Extreme dieting to the point of starvation can cause rigid thinking, anxiety and appetite suppression. Starvation and excessive weight loss may also alter brain function, which can perpetuate restrictive eating behaviors.
Major life changes – Transitioning to a new school, home or job. Enduring a relationship breakup. The death of a loved one. Changes like these can cause emotional stress and increase the risk of anorexia.
Restore your life with proven, personalized treatment for Anorexia
At KellerLife, your journey back to accepting your body, loving yourself and having healthy relationships with food, faith and family will be supported by physicians, mental health professionals and nutritionists who specialize in treating people with eating disorders.
- Nutritional rehabilitation – Our caring dietitians and behavioral specialists will help you return to healthy patterns of eating, including providing you with specific meal plans that help you achieve your treatment goals and bring you back to a healthy relationship with food.
- Family-based psychotherapy – Family therapy is designed to restore the fundamentally important relationships with the family, whether your family of origin or of choice.
- Individual psychotherapy – You or your loved one will work one-on-one with a KellerLife therapist to develop behavioral strategies and lifeskills that will help you return to a healthy weight, healthy behaviors and a healthy state of mind.
- Pharmacotherapy – Antidepressants or other psychiatric medications can help treat co-occurring disorders, such as depression or anxiety, and may be recommended as a part of your treatment plan.
If you or someone you love is suffering from anorexia, call 800-291-5045 to speak with an eating disorder representative. You can also ask to be contacted by a KellerLife representative using our easy online form.