For many people who experience symptoms, the question, “Do I need eating disorder treatment?” may arise frequently. An eating disorder therapy center can provide different levels of care for people with different levels of symptoms. Just as the causes of eating disorders are complex, so are the symptoms involved.
Whether you feel you have a biological predisposition to an eating disorder or you have experienced medical issues as a result of binge eating or starvation, it may be time to consider treatment. When you understand the symptoms of an eating disorder, you can better assess if treatment is right for you.
Treatment for Physical Symptoms of an Eating Disorder
If you have asked yourself, “Do I need eating disorder treatment?” you might already experience some of the physical symptoms of the condition. If you have been to a hospital for intravenous fluids or tube feedings, you should consider yourself a candidate for eating disorder treatment. If you experience these physical symptoms, it might be a good idea to consider treatment as well:
- Weight changes that others notice
- Low hormone and thyroid levels
- Missing periods
- Muscle weakness
- Slow heart rate
- Dental problems
- A layer of fine hair that covers the body
- Stomach concerns, including acid reflux and constipation
- Issues with concentration and focus
- Wounds fail to heal
- Extremely dry skin
Some signs are specific to anorexia nervosa, including:
- Dramatic weight loss
- Preoccupation with weight
- Strict calorie restrictions
- Severe abdominal pain
- Lack of energy
- Development of food rituals
- Fears of eating in public
Bulimia nervosa also has several specific symptoms. They include:
- Evidence of binge eating
- Purging behaviors (like vomiting or laxative abuse)
- Hoarding food
- Skipping meals often
You may notice some overlap with binge eating disorder as well, though this condition lacks the symptom of purging behaviors.
Treatment for Emotional and Behavioral Signs of Eating Disorders
Many people who wonder, “Do I need eating disorder treatment?” have also experienced emotional and behavioral signs of the condition. These are some of the common signs you may notice in yourself or somebody you love:
- Strong fear of weight gain
- Frequent worries about food
- Distorted image of one’s self, including their appearance
- Fear of public eating
- Moving food around the plate or eating foods in a specific order
- Self-worth that is based on weight
- Extreme exercise routines
- Secret eating
- Withdrawal from social events and groups
- Disappearing to the bathroom after a meal
Treatment for these symptoms is possible through an eating disorder treatment program in Maine. Treatment is especially important because eating disorders often accompany co-occurring conditions. Co-occurring disorders include anxiety disorders, substance abuse disorders, mood disorders, and self-harm.
Risk Factors for Eating Disorders
There are many risk factors that could clear up the answer to the question, “Do I need eating disorder treatment?” Many of these risk factors are psychological and include anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors. The risk of disorder may be linked to sociocultural factors, including size prejudice and the idea that there is an “ideal body.”
What Does Eating Disorder Treatment Look Like?
If you check into a residential eating disorder treatment program in Maine, you can expect to see different levels of care and treatment settings based on the needs of a patient. You can expect that recovery is an active process in which you are expected to participate. Residential treatment programs may include psychiatric counseling, massage, dance therapy, art therapy, psychiatric medicine, and addiction treatment. Professionals work as part of a team to address eating disorders. The team may also include primary care physicians, nutritionists, social workers, and more.
Help is available for those who need treatment. All you need to do is reach out. You can recover from an eating disorder.