Anorexia nervosa is a serious mental health condition that can affect people of all ages. However, eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa most often develop during the adolescent years. And although young men develop anorexia nervosa, young women are more likely to be diagnosed with an eating disorder. The condition is considered very serious as it has one of the highest death rates of any mental health disorder. This makes anorexia nervosa in adolescence a difficult issue for families to experience, and makes finding the best treatment an important first step. Luckily, with the help of a strong support system and comprehensive treatment, long-term anorexia recovery is possible. Keep reading to learn more about the condition and where you can find anorexia nervosa treatment centers near you.
What Is Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia nervosa is a serious eating disorder characterized by an attempt to control one’s body weight and shape by restricting the number of calories consumed each day. People with anorexia nervosa have an obsession with food and may also spend much of their time focusing on dieting and exercise. Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa can often associated with malnutrition. This can result from a long-term restriction of calories and vital nutrients.
If left untreated, malnutrition can cause serious complications in every major organ system in the body. Over time, these complications can result in chronic fatigue, muscle damage, dental health issues, abnormal heart rhythms, gastrointestinal problems and more. Anorexia in adolescence can present with a variety of different signs and symptoms, depending on the severity of the condition.
Some of the most common symptoms of anorexia nervosa include:
- A low body mass index based on an individual’s age, height and stature
- Amenorrhea (loss of the menstruation cycle, yellowing skin, brittle hair and nails)
- Obsession with dieting and exercise
- Lanugo (a condition where soft, fine hairs begin to grow all over the body and face)
- Preoccupation with food, recipes and cooking. People with anorexia nervosa often cook elaborate meals for others without eating themselves
- Excessive exercise even in events of illness, inclement weather, etc.
- Food rituals such as eating foods in certain orders, cutting all foods into tiny pieces, refusing to eat around others
- Anxiety, depression and insomnia
Anorexia Nervosa Recovery: Which Treatment Options Are Available for Adolescents?
Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa require specialized treatment in order to achieve long-term recovery. For younger people, it is important to find a treatment program that will address the special needs of navigating life as a teen. Popular treatment options include:
This is the most common treatment method for eating disorders. Therapy can last for a few months or years and is designed to help clients normalize their eating patterns, exchange their disordered eating habits for nourishing ones, develop problem-solving skills and more. Some of the most common types of therapy for eating disorders include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family-Based Therapy and Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
While medications cannot cure an eating disorder, they can be beneficial to anorexia nervosa recovery. Often used in combination with regular therapy sessions, adolescents with eating disorders may be prescribed antidepressants and other medications to help treat some symptoms.
Some treatment programs also focus on nutrition education for clients and their families. The common goals of nutrition education include understanding how food affects the body, establishing regular eating patterns, how to avoid fad dieting and more.
Find Anorexia Treatment Centers Near You
Looking for comprehensive anorexia treatment centers near you? At Clementine, we offer a safe, welcoming and home-like setting for teens. And with the highest level of medical and psychiatric care available outside of a hospital setting, parents can rest easy knowing their children are in good hands. Call 1.855.900.2221 today for more information.