Finding the Best Anorexia, Bulimia and Eating Disorder Treatment for Men
Anorexia, bulimia, food addiction, and other eating disorders are generally viewed by society as women’s illnesses, but a large number of men also suffer from these harmful disorders. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), 10 million men in the United States will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives, and 10 percent of all eating disorder sufferers that receive help from mental health professionals are male.
Although some men feel embarrassed or reluctant to get help, finding an appropriate treatment option is absolutely essential. Treatment options are varied, ranging from intensive inpatient programs to support groups and nutrition counseling. Use these facts and figures to find the best eating disorder treatment for your situation.
Do Men Need Treatment for Eating Disorders?
No matter how strong men feel, their eating disorders are just as dangerous as those that impact women. Psychologists agree that men’s eating disorders are generally indistinguishable from women’s eating disorders in a clinical sense. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness as stated in the American Journal of Psychiatry; however, according to the International Journal of Eating Disorders, only 1 in 10 sufferers of either gender receives treatment. No matter how severe the condition, those suffering from binge eating disorder, anorexia, bulimia or any other eating disorder need to seek some type of support or treatment.
The Benefits of Inpatient Treatment Programs
Although outpatient programs and support groups are helpful treatment options, an adult inpatient program provides the most intensive treatment regimen, including a structured, supportive recovery environment, psychotherapy, life skills counseling and controlled therapeutic meals. Eating disorder facilities generally offer full-time, qualified staff members that include psychiatrists, psychologists and registered dietitians.
Additionally, inpatient programs help patients who need medical assistance, providing nurses who monitor vital signs and administer nasogastric feeding to supplement the patient’s diet, if necessary. After undergoing an inpatient program, individuals generally receive help developing an aftercare plan to keep them on the right track.
The Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Programs
Individuals who are not in immediate medical danger and do not require partial hospitalization have the option of undergoing an intensive outpatient program (IOP), allowing them to receive treatment discretely. Most IOP programs take place several hours per day on a few chosen days of the week. Flexible schedules allow patients to begin recovering without sacrificing work, school or other daily activities. IOD programs generally include psychotherapy, nutritional education and skill-based eating disorder support groups.
Eating Disorder Support Groups and Therapy Groups for Men
Men suffering from eating disorders of every type and severity benefit from therapy groups and support groups, which are professionally facilitated groups that give sufferers a chance to share their thoughts and fears while benefiting from the eating disorder stories of their peers. These are often held during the evening at hospitals and treatment centers, and some eating disorder facilities offer therapy groups specifically for men.
Open groups are support groups that allow individuals to drop in without pre-registering, providing a great option for those who are not ready to fully commit but who want to explore the experience. Friends and family support groups are offered by many facilities as well. Online support groups are offered by organizations such as Mentor Connect and the National Association for Males With Eating Disorders on their websites.
Nutritional Counseling and Fitness Retraining
Services, such as nutritional counseling and fitness retraining, offered by many eating disorder treatment centers keep patients on the continued path to recovery by instilling essential skills. Nutritional counseling aims to stabilize the patient’s nutrition before helping him develop healthy beliefs and habits concerning food. A trained professional helps each patient to develop a personalized meal plan. When necessary, patients receive nutrition prescriptions to help them balance electrolytes, stabilize weight or reverse malnutrition.
Fitness retraining programs help eating disorder sufferers who exercise excessively, which is particularly common with anorexia nervosa. Fitness retraining assists sufferers in developing a healthy relationship with exercise. In these types of sessions, patients challenge popular media views concerning fitness and develop a healthy exercise regimen tailored to their needs.
Is a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center Right for You?
A dual diagnosis treatment center aims to treat both an addiction and an underlying mental illness. According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, 50 percent of all individuals with eating disorders meet the criteria for clinical depression. An underlying mental illness is sometimes the cause of an eating disorder, but oftentimes the dual conditions simply result from the same environmental and social factors. Dual diagnosis centers commonly use therapy, behavioral management programs and medication to treat an eating disorder and associated mental illness. A good dual diagnosis program uses an integrated approach, developing a unique treatment regime for each individual patient.
Finding an Eating Disorder Treatment Center Near You
You normally do not need to travel far to find a good treatment center, as they are offered in most major US cities. Faith-based treatment centers are a promising option for religious individuals. If there are no dedicated eating disorder facilities in your area, search for eating disorder programs at hospitals, mental health centers and substance abuse centers. The website of the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders provides a search tool that lets you find treatment centers by state.
Start Fresh Today by Giving Us a Call
Eating disorders might affect anyone. Among men, gay men and male athletes from disciplines such as gymnastics, body building, running and swimming are at a higher risk of developing eating disorders, according to NEDA. Despite intense social pressure for men to be incredibly fit, engaging in unhealthy eating behaviors is never the answer. Sufferers and their families are encouraged to use any of the aforementioned treatment options to get started on the road to recovery. Call us now if you have any questions.