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An In-Depth Breakdown of the Underlying Risk Factors Associated with Binge Eating Disorders

The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) states that binge eating disorder (BED) could potentially be the most prevalent eating disorder in the United States. Females are the most affected, with as many as 3.5 percent of women who could potentially benefit from attending an eating disorder recovery center. An estimated two percent of males also have BED. Yet, BED is still highly misunderstood. Similar to any eating disorder, BED is a complex psychological disorder and diagnosis and treatment should be completed in a professional and compassionate way. Continue reading…


Caregiver Support: 4 Essential Steps to do Today

Becky HenryBecky Henry Headshot BLHWebsite[1]​ is trained as a Certified, Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), ACC and provides radical support for caregivers to become effective guides for their loved one in eating disorder recovery. In this post, Becky discusses Support that is essential when a child is in recovery.

My Jan 24, 2018 article: ​What Parents and Health Care Professionals can Expect from Residential Eating Disorders Treatment,​​ highlighted 15 points for parents to consider and prepare for while a child is in a RTC.​ ​​I promised I’d go into more depth on each point. Please note that these pertain to anyone who cares about someone in recovery, I use ‘parents’ simply because they make up the majority of my coaching practice.

 

You may recall from my article; ​What Parents and Health Care Professionals Can Expect from Residential Treatment ​that the 3rd step necessary for parents is support. Here I’m going into depth on the topic of ​Support​​.

 

SUPPORT:​​ Get support to fill your cup up. This is the next step to maintaining your physical and mental health and being able to effectively support your child in recovery, calmly. Support is available – reaching out for help for you is okay.

Have you been hearing lately that you need to get support as the caregiver?

What’s up with Becky ALWAYS saying, “Get support to fill your cup up?”

You are likely experiencing what most parents & other caregivers feel. Something like, “What are you talking about? My loved one is very sick and could die and you’re telling me to get support to take care of ME!?”

I get it. Most of us have failed miserably at it…until we figure out it is essential to practice self care and that we need support to be able to do it.

Getting support to practice self-care is essential for our health and wellbeing AND for our loved one.

Most of my clients have tried to be a caregiver 24/7 without an oxygen mask, having an empty cup with holes in it and no visible means of support. This works for a short while…until it doesn’t. Much like a car running out of gas…it will run on fumes for a short distance and then it simply stops.

Please don’t wait until you’re exhausted, bitter, angry, drained, hopeless, feeling helpless, overwhelmed and ready to give up.

One client told me that she resisted my challenges to practice self-care for a long time before she came to a couple of my retreats and then she was able to shift her beliefs about self-care. She’d had long held beliefs that self-care was selfish. That mothers should be martyrs. Good mothers that is…she’s not alone.

Self-care and having support to practice it is not a magic bullet and has no guarantees. I know…life can stink like that sometimes. AND, I can tell you that ​100% of the time when my coaching clients have fully embraced getting their oxygen mask on, filling up their cup and diligently practicing self-care…their loved ones have dramatically improved in their recovery.

Continue reading…


Impact of Eating Disorders on Quality of Life – and How Treatment Centers Can Help

The complex nature of eating disorders and their symptoms cause these conditions to have a profoundly negative impact on quality of life. From bulimia nervosa to selective eating disorder, each condition presents unique challenges that must be addressed in an eating disorder treatment program. Across all eating disorder conditions, disordered thoughts and actions can quickly lead to compulsions that threaten to overtake every minute of daily life. Without care at effective eating disorder treatment centers, patients often work overtime attempting to maintain habits centered around eating disorder symptoms.

This exhausting way of life can quickly break down even the strongest of people, as they try to juggle their eating disorder and daily obligations. Fortunately, help can be found at eating disorder treatment centers that focus on helping their patients become and remain recovered. Through the journey toward a full recovery, patients learn how to maintain healthy thought patterns and behaviors with evidence-based therapy models.

Insights on how eating disorder symptoms can negatively impact daily life can assist patients in determining if they are ready to work toward becoming recovered. With this guide, patients can not only learn how eating disorders affect the quality of life but also how treatment centers can help with those issues.

Types of Eating Disorders That Can Negatively Impact Quality of Life

Whether they occur on their own or together, eating disorders of all kinds can have a negative impact on quality of life. Eating disorders that can impede daily activities and otherwise decrease the patient’s quality of life include bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and restrictive food intake disorder.

Each of these eating disorders requires a personalized treatment approach that focuses on eliminating symptoms and replacing disordered thoughts and behavioral patterns. Using evidence-based care practices, eating disorder therapists can help their patients become recovered and regain their quality of life through the treatment of the eating disorders and their co-occurring conditions.

Daily Life Impacts from Eating Disorder Symptoms

In a 2013 study, results showed that people with eating disorders have a markedly decreased quality of life compared to the rest of the population. The type of symptoms the patients exhibited also had an impact on quality of life perceptions, with binging and purging behaviors having the biggest negative impact.

People with eating disorders experienced the most difficulties when their eating disorder symptoms progressed to a point that impaired their daily lives. The immense amount of time devoted to controlling food intake and physical activity, for example, can impede people’s ability to tend to their daily obligations, leading to problems down the road. The impairment of their daily lives and resulting dive in quality of life perceptions can increase motivation to become recovered, opening the doors for intake into an eating disorder recovery center.

Other aspects of the patient’s life may eventually start to decline, as the lack of attention results in noticeable impacts. A lack of treatment for eating disorders can lead to the breakdown of personal and professional relationships and connections that took a lot of work to establish. Therefore, it is important for people with eating disorders to seek prompt treatment upon becoming aware of the problem.

Any delay in acquiring treatment for eating disorders can lead to physical and mental health complications for the patient. These complications can make the journey toward recovery more challenging, but still approachable with help from knowledgeable eating disorder therapists.

Physical Health Repercussions of Eating Disorders

Without an adequate intake of food, and often in the face of excessive daily exercise, patients can suffer physical health repercussion from eating disorders rather quickly. The physical symptoms may initially manifest as stomach cramps, dizziness, fainting spells, dry skin, brittle nails, and muscle weakness. Weight loss may not actually be immediately noticeable, but will likely become obvious as the eating disorder progresses in severity.

As the low-calorie intake, and resulting vitamin deficiencies, continue to worsen, so do the physical symptoms. People with eating disorders start to grow fine hair all over their body, suffer tooth decay and damage, experience salivary gland swelling and other serious complications. Dehydration is almost always a concern as eating disorder symptoms worsen and take hold of daily life.

In the end, untreated eating disorders can even cause lasting damage to the internal organs, including the heart, kidneys, and liver. These physical symptoms tend to worsen the disordered thoughts and behaviors, as self-confidence decreases even further. The physical symptoms can also impair daily life by preventing freedom of movement and independent living. People with severe dizziness, for example, may not be able to drive themselves around until they are ready to complete treatment with help from an experienced therapist. Mental health complications can also impede daily life for people with untreated eating disorders.

Mental Health Complications Caused by Eating Disorders

Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other types of eating disorders can have an incredibly negative impact on mental health. Eating disorder symptoms and behaviors can reinforce disordered thought patterns, leading to the constant degradation of self-esteem. Already low self-esteem levels may plummet as the disordered thought patterns and compulsive behaviors serve to reinforce each other. Furthermore, the disordered thoughts urges, and behaviors caused by eating disorders can lead to depression and anxiety.

Underlying mental health disorders can also contribute to the development of eating disorders. Effective eating disorder therapists must treat all mental health conditions and eating disorders to remove this link and help the patient become recovered. A multi-faceted approach to the eating disorder treatment process allows therapists to address all conditions at once and help the patient achieve their goals. With help from outside providers, the care process continues after patients leave the treatment program to promote continued recovery.

Widespread Impact on Quality of Life of People in the Patient’s Support System

Although the patient’s quality of life and journey remains paramount, eating disorders can have a negative impact on the lives of people in the inner social circle. These close friends and family members may have issues coping with the lifestyle changes and demands that come with many eating disorder symptoms. The physical and mental health repercussions can also cause people in the patient’s inner circle to worry and stress about their loved one. As these issues take a toll, the social circle loses its ability to adequately support the patient as they work toward pursuing selective eating disorder treatment.

With their understanding of the challenges that loved ones face in supporting others as they work toward becoming recovered from eating disorders. An excellent eating disorder recovery center will bring in family members for guided therapy sessions that renew bonds and strengthen the social circle of the patient. These sessions help to increase understanding and build connections that were damaged or lost before the patient entered selective eating disorder treatment.

How Becoming Recovered Can Improve Quality of Life

A constant preoccupation with controlling weight and tending to other eating disorder symptoms can decimate quality of life for patients and people in their support system. With the completion of a great eating disorder treatment program, however, people can restore their quality of life and strengthen connections with those in their inner social circle.

The treatment program focuses on teaching patients how to maintain a healthy weight and exercise routine without the use of overly restrictive behaviors and thought patterns. Upon leaving the treatment center, patients can utilize their skills to effortlessly maintain a healthy relationship with food and physical activity. The elimination of all eating disorder symptoms during the treatment process gives patients their lives back. Without these disordered thoughts and behaviors dominating the day, patients can work on their personal and professional goals without disruption.

Before entering eating disorder treatment programs, many people first experience a huge quality of life dip that has a ripple effect across their inner social circle. With help from a skilled eating disorder therapist, all quality of life decreases can be reversed with a return to healthy eating and exercise patterns.

Understanding How Eating Disorder Treatment Centers Help with Recovery

Eating disorder treatment centers often have several levels of care available for patients with different disorders and symptom severity. For all patients, the treatment centers around educating the client and supporting their switch to healthier habits and behaviors. Eating disorder treatment often includes individual, family and group therapy to give the patient insights and perspectives that broaden their view of the eating disorder and its effects.

While working toward becoming recovered, people with eating disorders learn how to eliminate restrictive behaviors and replace them with healthier alternatives. Throughout the process, patients receive support with handling their dietary intake, exercise and health needs. To promote continued recovery after leaving the eating disorder recovery center, therapists help their patients build a strong understanding of the appropriate expression of feelings and acceptance of their natural body shape.

Nutrition experts, doctors, and mental health professionals all contribute to the care of people in eating disorder treatment centers. These professionals collaborate to ensure the patient continues to make progress toward achieving their goal of eating disorder recovery. The medical and nursing care helps to mitigate the impact of eating disorders on the physical and mental health of the patient. This approach allows for the full treatment of all co-occurring conditions to give patients the best start in becoming recovered.

People with eating disorders can move through the different levels of care to receive comprehensive support every step of the way. Residential treatment programs can break the cycle of disordered thoughts and behaviors with relocation to a neutral setting. While in the residential treatment program, patients can work on achieving and maintaining eating disorder recovery with help from their therapists. Upon achieving key treatment goals, patients can move on to the day eating disorder treatment program to continue learning and building skills until they are ready to maintain recovery on their own.

Pursing Improved Quality of Life at an Eating Disorder Recovery Center

As quality of life declines in response to the impacts of eating disorders, patients can seek care at eating disorder treatment centers to become recovered.  Eating disorder therapists can help their patients achieve their goals in achieving eating disorder recovery to regain their quality of life. Going through treatment for their eating disorders, and all underlying conditions also helps to restore the strength of bonds with people in the patient’s inner social circle.

Through bulimia, anorexia nervosa and selective eating disorder treatment programs, people can learn the coping and life skills they need to maintain proper eating and exercise patterns. The ability to achieve wellness comes much easier when people with eating disorders receive the support they need from a knowledgeable care team. People interested in acquiring support from a skilled therapist can call 888-228-1253 to speak to our admissions professionals. We will help all our patients reach their goals in entering an effective treatment program to achieve eating disorder recovery.


Mindfulness in Eating Disorder Recovery

Monte Nido & Affiliates Vice President of Clinical Programming Keesha Amezcua, MA, LMFT, CEDS has over 10 years of experience working in the eating disorder field and is trained in EMDR. In this week’s blog post, Keesha discusses mindfulness and how it can be incorporated into treatment.

Mindfulness might be one of the buzziest of the current buzz words. You can find mindfulness journals, cards, necklaces, elixirs and even water bottles. But what does this really mean? And what’s all the hype about anyways. The term mindfulness is often misused or generalized to mean any form of new age, spiritual practice. If we are using the word correctly according to mindfulness guru Jon Kabat Zinn, it means “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” This might sound equal parts easy and hard. The good news is that mindfulness can be cultivated through intentional practice and training. Perhaps your next question is, “why would I need o want to do this?” Continue reading…


Exploring the Levels of Care Available at Eating Disorder Treatment Centers

Binge eating disorder revolves around the compulsive urge to consume huge amounts of food in a set period of time. People with binge eating disorder often feel like they cannot control this urge to overeat nor stop eating when satisfied or even full. This disorder may or may not involve purging after binge eating, but it is not a requirement for diagnosis. The obsessive nature of this disorder makes it a complex condition to treat, necessitating assistance from highly trained and compassionate eating disorder support professionals. People can work with these support professionals at local binge eating disorder recovery centers in their area.

To help clients achieve their goals at binge eating disorder treatment centers, education remains an integral part of the eating disorder treatment process. Both clients and their family members receive information and insights about binge eating disorder symptoms, causes and treatment options. With this knowledge, clients can confidently move through the treatment process to achieve their goal of becoming recovered.

Binge Eating Disorder Symptoms

People with binge eating disorder exhibit characteristic symptoms that can help indicate that there is a problem. These symptoms revolve around the person’s urge to overeat far beyond satiation and lack of control over this compulsion. Many clients will maintain relatively normal eating habits in company, and then engage in disordered behaviors while solo. They may stockpile large amounts of food to consume when they are alone and unable to resist the urge to binge eat.

An inability to cope with stress or anxiety with healthy coping mechanisms is also a hallmark symptom of binge eating disorder. Many clients rely on binge eating behaviors for the relief of stress, anxiety and low moods. Engaging in binge eating behaviors may cause feelings of numbness that persist long afterward. Over time, the continual stretching of the stomach from overeating causes a loss of feeling, making it so clients can no longer tell when they are full.

Unlike other eating disorders, binge eating disorder does not often result in weight loss, even when combined with purging. Instead, clients are likely to remain the same weight or gain a little weight (although weight fluctuations are common), making it a poor indicator of a problem. Impacts on the person’s quality of life and any physical and mental health complications that occur are often better indicators of the need for treatment.

Impact on Quality of Life

Eating disorders can have a seriously negative impact on the quality of life of clients and their families – and binge eating disorder is no exception. This condition can cause impairments that impede the client’s ability to fulfill their personal and professional obligations.

Eating disorder symptoms can start to take up a large portion of the day as clients focus on following their disordered thought patterns. The destructive behaviors that follow can cause physical health repercussions and worsen mental health effects. Quality of life often continues to decline until people with binge eating disorder seek treatment from a qualified care center.

Without prompt treatment that promotes binge eating recovery, clients may start to quickly develop serious physical and mental health issues. These health problems can also cause quality of life declines and even threaten the lives of clients who forgo receiving help at binge eating disorder treatment centers.

Physical and Mental Health Effects

Poor eating habits common with people who have binge eating disorder can lead to a number of serious physical health complications. These health complications may include diabetes, menstrual irregularities, cancer, and heart disease. Before these health complications develop, adverse effects may occur as a result of binge eating, including dehydration, tooth enamel erosion, esophageal tears, and heart palpitations. These signs of a problem require prompt attention to help facilitate the client’s journey toward binge eating disorder recovery.

Mental health problems can develop as well as a result of binge eating disorder. Depression and anxiety, for example, can develop as eating disorder symptoms start to impact the quality of life. Mental health conditions can also contribute to the development of eating disorders or simply co-occur alongside binge eating disorder. While at binge eating disorder treatment centers, clients receive care for all their physical and mental health conditions along with their eating disorders. This multi-faceted approach to care helps clients achieve better outcomes in becoming recovered and graduating from binge eating treatment centers.

Common Causes of Binge Eating Disorders

The causes of binge eating disorders, and eating disorders, in general, is a complex mix of genetics, environmental factors, social pressures, and brain chemistry. Not any single factor stands out, however, as the main cause of eating disorders. Genetics and brain chemistry can both increase the likelihood of developing eating disorders, but do not fully explain what triggers their development. Despite that, doctors will utilize family history and mental health disorders to determine their client’s risk of developing eating disorders.

Social pressure and environmental factors also increase risk but fail to fully explain why binge eating disorder occurs.  Social pressure can often skew body image and self-perceptions in a negative way, resulting in the need to make changes and deflect comments. Living in high-stress environments without proper structure can also trigger the development of binge eating disorder, as clients look for a way to exhibit control over their lives and selves.

Furthermore, people with eating disorders tend to lack healthy coping skills or the ability to apply those skills in the face of serious stressors. With so many potential causes of eating disorders, personalized treatment is the only effective option for people who want to achieve their binge eating disorder recovery goals.

Treatments for Binge Eating Disorders

Treatment for binge eating disorder recovery focuses on teaching clients how to accept their natural body size and shape. The treatment process revolves around the elimination of destructive thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to the persistent nature of eating disorders. With the elimination of these thoughts and actions, clients can utilize the proper perspective in all their interactions and life situations for a healthier self.

Most effective binge eating treatment centers have different levels of care available to their clients. By offering both inpatient and outpatient care programs, eating disorder support professionals can ensure clients receive personalized treatment for their eating disorders and co-occurring conditions. Clients can transition between the different levels of treatment as they work toward becoming recovered and returning home.

The personalized treatment plans have individual, group and family therapy at their core to give clients the support they need every step of the way. Binge eating disorder treatment centers may employ a variety of therapy approaches to help their clients overcome their challenges on the road to making a full recovery. The therapy models used with great success for binge eating disorders include cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy. These approaches allow for sensitive exposure to triggers and allow clients to build their healthy coping skills in safe environments.

Through therapy and daily activities, clients in binge eating disorder recovery programs learn how to practice the healthy expression of emotions and challenge disordered thought patterns. The treatment program helps clients accept their body size, weight, and shape to develop motivations for improved self-care habits. Clients also learn about the connection between nutrition, exercise, and health to develop positive perceptions and habits. Through mindfulness training and regular journaling, clients learn to identify their triggers and halt destructive urges using healthy coping skills and recovery tools.

Binge eating disorder treatment centers involve the family in the recovery process to build the client’s social circle. Families may come in for individual and group therapy sessions, for example, to gain an understanding of binge eating disorder and the treatment process. The therapy sessions also give the family opportunities to vent their frustrations, express their worries and receive guidance from a skilled therapist. Eating disorder therapists act as mediators and guides for clients and families looking to achieve or promote binge eating disorder recovery.

Barriers to Achieving Binge Eating Disorder Recovery

Achieving recovery at binge eating disorder treatment centers depends on the purposeful identification and removal of barriers to success. Common barriers that can stand in the way of binge eating disorder recovery include fear of the unknown, lack of social support and inability to source adequate care from skilled professionals.

Mental health conditions and other co-occurring conditions can also act as barriers to recovery by complicating the treatment process. Anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders, for example, can skew perceptions and decrease motivations to pursue recovery from binge eating disorders. Substance abuse disorders are also particularly important to treat, as they can fully impede the process of recovering from eating disorders.

Effective binge eating treatment centers focus on providing comprehensive treatment for not only the eating disorders affecting the client but also all co-occurring conditions. Depending on the unique needs of the client, an entire team of doctors, psychiatrists, nutritionists, and other providers come together to identify and utilize the most effective evidence-based treatment strategies and protocols. With these providers giving their full support, clients can work toward the elimination of their eating disorder symptoms.

What to Look for in Professionals Who Help with Binge Eating Disorder Recovery

Excellent binge eating disorder recovery centers provide truth without judgement to nurture and challenge clients. The focus always remains on strengthening the client’s healthy self through the elimination of destructive thought patterns and behaviors. Clients learn how to reach out to those in their social circle for support rather than turning to harmful eating disorder behaviors. Those in the client’s inner social circle also receive support to ensure they can be there for the client.

Eating disorder providers should utilize evidence-based treatments and state of the art practices with a balanced mindset and compassionate approach. Excellent binge eating disorder treatment centers should have recovered staff on hand who act as key role models for clients. These providers should openly collaborate with their teammates to create and follow individualized treatment plans for every client.

When clients can find the best binge eating disorder treatment centers for their needs, they can receive comprehensive support that facilitates their goal of becoming recovered. Through every level of care and after, clients will always receive quality care and encouragement from their eating disorder care team.

Acquiring Care from Binge Eating Treatment Centers

To start down the road to binge eating disorder recovery, clients or their loved ones must reach out to admissions specialists at their treatment center of choice. The admissions specialists will help clients determine the appropriate level of care to acquire as they work toward binge eating recovery.

To get started in acquiring care at quality binge eating disorder treatment centers, clients can call 888-228-1253 to speak to the admissions specialists at Monte Nido. The admissions process involves a simple 30 to 40-minute phone interview where clients can share their challenges and goals in addition to asking any questions they may have. After this process, clients receive access to the care they need from highly trained and compassionate recovered staff members.