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There are several different types of eating disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), and each is categorized under the Disorder Class: Feeding and Eating Disorders. They are serious mental illnesses that are loosely characterized by abnormal, irregular eating habits, and an extreme concern with one’s body weight or shape. The three most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. Eating disorders can be debilitating and can adversely affect a person’s emotions, health, and interfere with one’s ability to adequately function in his or her daily life. Family relationships can have a profound effect on one’s physiological health and can play an integral role in one’s eating disorder treatment outcome. 

Treatment Basics

The goal of treatment for an individual diagnosed with an eating disorder is to help them find a healthy and sustainable relationship with food. Every individual is different and will react distinctly to the array of therapeutic treatment modalities available. The treatment plan for an individual diagnosed with an eating disorder will be directly informed by several contributing factors, such as: the exact diagnosis, how long he or she has been actively engaging in unhealthy eating habits, his or her personal health history, and the presence of any co-morbid disorders. While eating disorders are life-long conditions, with proper treatment and support, a person can learn to effectively manage its symptoms. 

Family Therapy

Eating disorders do not occur in a vacuum and the family surrounding an individual struggling with an eating disorder will be greatly affected. Hence, treatment plans for individuals with eating disorders typically include some form of family involvement, such as family therapy. Family behavior therapy (FBT) can teach a family unit helpful tools and strategies for navigating family conflict, and improving communication methods, as well as provide education regarding the complexities of eating disorders and how to best support one’s recovery process (e.g., mealtime support, etc.). Family therapy provides an emotionally safe environment for family members to discuss and learn strategies to overcome the fractures caused by an eating disorder. Family therapy offers a platform where families’ ambivalence about treatment can be minimized through employing a personalized and collaborative approach that conveys respect and understanding for families’ struggles surrounding eating disorder treatment.

The Role Of Family

As is true with all things in life, family can have both positive and negative effects on people’s mental health and can play a critical role in the treatment process for eating disorders. When family relationships are stable and supportive, they can have positive effects on one’s mental health, as they can provide resources that can help a family member learn to cope with stress, engage in healthier behaviors, and cultivate improved self-esteem. In a healthy family unit, family members can rely on each other for emotional support, economic support, and companionship. When one member of a family system is suffering, it affects the entire system, which is why engaging families in the recovery process is valuable to heal the family unit as well as offer support and guidance to each member individually.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options. 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

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