Ricci Psychology Partners Offers Help For Those Suffering From A Range Of Eating Disorders.
Are you or a loved one suffering from an eating disorder? At Ricci Psychology Partners of Jupiter and Palm Beach, we have therapists on staff that can help.
Eating disorders are complex biological, psychological and emotional/social disorders which affect both the individual and the entire family. Most people are familiar with anorexia nervosa and bulimia. In anorexia, an individual starves herself and refuses to eat; with bulimia, an individual takes in large quantities of food (maybe 10,000 calories) in a very short period of time and then tries to “undo” the behavior by vomiting, using laxatives, or compulsively exercising.
What most people do not know, however, is that anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. These are serious disorders that can cause organs to shut down due to malnutrition, electrolyte imbalances, and wasting.
More recently, researchers and clinicians have begun working with “new” eating disorders such as binge eating disorder (BED) and ARFID (Avoidant and Restrictive Food Intake Disorder). Most eating disorders have their underpinnings in complex genetic, environmental, and familial issues. It is not uncommon to see an eating disorder develop during periods of high stress or transition (e.g., going away to college). Many women who had eating disorders in their teens but were not treated often enter treatment for the first time in their 40’s when life is changing for them again.
While all eating disorders have emotional components (anxiety, depression, trauma), ARFID is unique in that it is generally an anxiety based disorder.
Children with ARFID used to be known simply as “picky eaters.” We now know that there are often sensory issues associated with eating or fears (such as the fear of vomiting) that cause people with ARFID to restrict intake. There also seems to be an association between ARFID and autism spectrum disorders.
No matter which disorder you or your family member may have, early detection and treatment are key! A team approach consisting of a psychologist (or other therapist specializing in eating disorders), a medical doctor, and a nutritionist is essential for monitoring each individual’s progress.
Please contact Dr. Laura Ellick at Ricci Psychology Partners if you have questions or would like to schedule a consultation.