Eating disorders are complex illnesses that can have a devastating impact on the life of a young girl or woman. The Mayo Clinic reports that the most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.
Eating disorder symptoms are different for each condition. However, in general, when a young girl or woman is living with an eating disorder, they suffer from the compulsion to engage in behaviors such as restricting their food intake or bingeing. Purging after eating and exercising excessively are additional behaviors that an individual who has an eating disorder might struggle with.
Common Signs & Symptoms of Eating Disorders
Women and girls may display certain warning signs and symptoms that can indicate they are struggling with an eating disorder. While these behaviors don’t necessarily mean they are suffering from an eating disorder, they may warrant a greater conversation.
Some eating disorder symptoms and warning signs might include:
- Being overly critical of appearance or weight
- Worrying about weight gain
- Constantly checking appearance in mirror
- Making excuses not to eat
- Frequently eating unusually large amounts of food
- Using the bathroom often during meals
- Trouble sleeping
- Stomach pain
- Tooth sensitivity
- Noticeable weight loss or gain
Prevalence of Eating Disorders
Experts don’t know the exact cause behind why women and girls develop eating disorders, but genetics, family history, and other personal factors can increase their risk.
Statistics from Eating Disorder Hope reveal just how many women and girls struggle with eating disorders:
- Approximately 10 million women in the United States struggle with eating disorders every day.
- Half of teenage girls use unhealthy methods to control their weight, such as vomiting, using laxatives, skipping meals, or smoking cigarettes.
- A quarter of college-aged women engage in behaviors associated with eating disorders, such as bingeing and purging, to manage their weight.
Why Seek Eating Disorder Treatment
If left untreated, an eating disorder can cause significant harm to a woman’s or girl’s life.
Some of the effects of an untreated eating disorder can include:
- Heart or kidney failure
- Stomach or digestive problems
- Lowered immune functioning
- Menstrual problems or infertility
When you seek treatment for an eating disorder, not only do you minimize your risk of experiencing these harmful effects, but you also start to make positive changes that can impact so many aspects of your life.
You can become empowered to take back control from the anxieties and compulsions that have kept you from going out to eat at restaurants, shopping at the grocery store, or hanging out with friends.
Getting eating disorder treatment can also connect you with a community of people who share similar experiences. These individuals can encourage and motivate you as you learn new coping skills and gain greater confidence in your eating disorder recovery.
Choosing the Right Eating Disorder Treatment
Recovery from an eating disorder is an individual process, which is why eating disorder treatment should never take a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s essential to find eating disorder treatment that aligns with your recovery goals and meets your individual needs.
Before you begin treatment at Timberline Knolls, you will complete a detailed assessment that allows our team to gain an understanding of the concerns that led you to seek eating disorder treatment. This assessment forms the basis for your individualized eating disorder treatment plan, which we will tailor to your unique needs and recovery goals.
Some of the eating disorder treatment options we offer at Timberline Knolls include residential treatment and a partial hospitalization program (PHP) with housing options.
Residential treatment gives women and girls the opportunity to step away from the stressors and distractions of daily life so they can focus solely on their health and wellness, while our PHP for women offers daylong eating disorder treatment in a more structured setting than traditional outpatient therapy.
We will help you choose the eating disorder treatment that’s right for you.
The Eating Disorder Treatment Experience
We use a combination of evidence-based treatment methods and interventions to help women and adolescent girls achieve successful recovery from a variety of eating disorders.
Our therapies and treatment modalities help you get to the root of your compulsion to engage in eating disorder behaviors. They also allow you to gain new coping skills that support you when you encounter things that trigger those behaviors.
Even though we individualize your care to ensure you receive the maximum benefit from your time with us, there are certain elements of care that are common among everyone who seeks eating disorder treatment at Timberline Knolls, including:
- Group therapy
- Experiential therapy
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
- Meal support
- Alumnae services
- Detailed discharge planning
Our expert team works closely with you to determine the most beneficial interventions for your situation, making any necessary updates to your eating disorder treatment plan based on your progress.
To ensure that you are prepared to continue in your recovery once you leave our eating disorder treatment center, we will create a thorough discharge plan with valuable information that promotes long-term healing. This may include a referral to your next level of care, community-based resources, and eating disorder support groups in your area.
This content was reviewed and approved by the clinical staff at Timberline Knolls.