Eating Disorder Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa
are the goals for eating disorder treatments for anorexia nervosa?
Eating disorder treatments for anorexia nervosa usually have two main goals.
The first is to correct as quickly as possible the abnormal eating pattern that
is endangering the personís health. The second goal of eating disorder
treatments, is to address the broader psychological and situational factors that
have led to and maintain the eating problem. Family and friends can play an
extremely important role in helping to
overcome the disorder.
Eating disorder treatments for anorexia nervosa:
The immediate aim for eating disorder treatments for anorexia nervosa, are to
help individuals regain their lost weight, recover from malnourishment, and eat
normally again. Therapists must then help them to make psychological and perhaps
family changes to preserve those gains.
How are proper weight and normal eating restored?
A variety of eating disorder treatment interventions are used to help
patients with anorexia nervosa gain weight quickly and return to health, usually
within several weeks. In the past, eating disorder treatments were almost always
provided in a hospital, but now they are often offered in outpatient settings.
In life-threatening cases, clinicians may need to force tube and
intravenous feedings on a patient who refuses to eat. Unfortunately, this
use of force may breed distrust in the patient and set up a power struggle
between a patient and their therapist. In contrast, behavioral
weight-restoration approaches and clinicians rewarding patients whenever they
eat properly or gain weight, and offering no rewards when they eat improperly or
fail to gain weight, is the recommended approach to eating disorder treatments.
Perhaps the most popular weight-restoration technique of recent years has
been a combination of supportive nursing care and a high-calorie diet. In
this approach to eating disorder treatment, nurses gradually increase the
patientís diet over the course of several weeks to more than 2,500 calories per
day. The nurses educate patients about the program, track progress, provide
encouragement, and help them to recognize that their weight gain is under
control, and will not be permitted to continue into obesity. Studies show that
patients in nursing-care, eating disorder treatment programs, usually gain the
necessary weight over a period of eight to 12 weeks.
By Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate
Information provided by
Abnormal Psychology by Ronald J. Comer