Finding the Best Anorexia, Bulimia and Eating Disorder Treatment for Professionals
Eating disorders affect people of all ages, and adults with eating disorders are less likely to be confronted by the people around them. This is even more pronounced among professionals and people in positions of authority. The disorders continue under the radar longer, and the behaviors affect the sufferer negatively.
Overachieving’s Link to Eating Disorders
The link between overachieving and eating disorders is unusually strong. According to NBC’s TODAY show, one rehabilitation center has seen an increase of 42 percent in women over the age of 35 who are seeking help for eating disorders. Research finds that eating disorders are not always outgrown.
According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, unhealthy eating patterns that begin in adolescent and teen years often continue and sometimes deepen in adulthood. Data from the 10-year study that followed thousands of teenagers into young adulthood shows a drastic increase with age. The study indicates that the percentage of young females who took tremendous measures to manage their weight rose from 8.4 percent as teens to 20.4 percent as adults.
Middle-aged patients typically acquire their eating disorders at a younger age, and their disorders flare back up due to stress. With high school achievement so requisite for getting into a good school later, executives often discover the root of their disorder lies in these early years. Often, the disorder only worsens with age as the pressures of professional life set in.
People with anorexia often exhibit traits like anxiety, perfectionism and risk avoidance – unfortunately, the very traits that many executives rely on for success. Those afflicted with bulimia have many of the same characteristics as those suffering from anorexia; however, some also suffer from the addition of novelty-seeking behaviors, such as drug or alcohol abuse. Treatment centers that specialize in eating disorders recognize and understand the stiffness of anorexia and the impulsive traits of bulimia. They are not the same disorder; however, for the most part, treatment for anorexia and bulimia is quite similar.
What to Expect in Recovery
Treatment for anorexia or bulimia in executives tackles the fact that older patients face the same eating disorder struggles as teenagers. Issues such as distorted body image or dissatisfaction and fear of food are often exacerbated as the patient ages. A good treatment center understands that older patient deal with additional stress factors, such as empty nest syndrome, marital problems or divorce, or career fluctuations. Older sufferers usually have a harder time asking for help and often feel guilty for leaving behind family in order to seek treatment. Before being admitted to a treatment facility, patients go through the intake process, which consists of routine tests and paperwork. The intake and assessment process is standard at almost every treatment center. The patient answers questions to help medical staff determine proper treatment. Paperwork includes financial arrangements, policy and procedure information, and consent. Most programs include both counseling and medication assistance, if needed.
Patients suffering from anorexia or bulimia tend to suffer from other disorders, including anxiety and depression. Eating disorder recovery centers have trained medical professionals and specialists on staff to treat the causes and the symptoms of any disorder. Support and encouragement after treatment are provided through aftercare programs. These programs help ensure long-term success in patients. When choosing an executive treatment center, create a treatment plan that also includes a relapse prevention plan. Relapse prevention focuses on recovery management, mainly by creating a schedule for a patient’s initial time back in the home, and it includes a plan for continuing care after discharge.
Inpatient or Outpatient?
Inpatient facilities give patients access to 24-hour care by allowing them to live at the facility throughout their treatment. In outpatient centers, patients are free to handle work, school and other responsibilities that are essential to their daily lives. A recovery center for executives likely offers an outpatient program with these options. How do you know whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is right for your circumstances? Anyone with a long history of the disorder who has not been able to control the illness on their own should choose inpatient care. Also, inpatient treatment is a good option for anyone who has previously completed treatment and relapsed and for those who need a stronger support system or more care than their home environment provides.
Inpatient treatment usually lasts a minimum of four weeks. Month-long programs are often reserved for milder addictions or disorders. Patients who prefer to complete treatment in intermittent periods or create a longer course of treatment sometimes benefit from a shorter stay, followed by more extensive aftercare.
Sixty-day programs allow patients to tackle most of the problems leading up to and exacerbating their disorder. During a 90-day treatment, patients live at the recovery center and regularly get together with their team of doctors and peers. Medical care is readily available for those with psychological dependencies.