Anorexia nervosa is a complex eating disorder that causes patients to severely and unhealthily limit their eating, often because they see themselves as overweight. Men and women of every age are diagnosed with anorexia every year, although this is a mental health condition that disproportionately affects teenagers and young women. With both mental and physical symptoms, anorexia can feel overwhelming, but it is treatable.
Dr. Sehdev is a trained Dallas psychiatrist offering treatment for anorexia and other eating disorders at Aware Behavioral Health. Our personalized anorexia treatment manages symptoms while helping you build healthier habits around both food and ways of thinking. Call us at 888-677-4562 to learn more about our anorexia treatment options in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Types of Anorexia Nervosa
An anorexia diagnosis is for individuals who severely limit their calorie intake in an effort to lose weight. The result is an unhealthy, low weight for those who experience anorexia. Yet those with anorexia have an intense fear of gaining weight and often perceive their weight and shape as being overweight.
Anorexia goes beyond dieting, although frequent or extreme dieting may be an early warning sign of anorexia. Instead, patients have an unhealthy relationship with food and body image. They often fixate on food and when and how they will eat. The fixation and related health effects can eventually impact their ability to engage in work or school.
Doctors have divided anorexia into 4 subtypes to provide a more specific diagnosis, although these are still generalizations. Many patients will experience different types of anorexia at different times, or may exhibit symptoms of 2 subtypes simultaneously. This is why we focus on understanding your specific needs and thought processes to treat anorexia as you experience it.
The symptoms you or a loved one with anorexia may experience depending on type include:
- Restricting Type – The most well known type of anorexia, it involves restricting calories through fasting and dieting.
- Binge Eating and Purging Type – In addition to restricting calories, those in this subtype will constrain what they do eat to binge episodes and then purge afterwards through vomiting or laxatives.
- Atypical Anorexia – This is any type of anorexia that does not fall into one of the above subtypes. It can include when a person is not underweight, but still limits calories and has an unhealthy relationship with food.
- Anorexia Athletica – This is also known as “exercise anorexia,” and it involves exercising excessively without consuming calories to make up for it. While it is not officially recognized, many psychiatrists understand that it is a significant and harmful eating disorder
It is not unusual for anorexia to occur alongside other mental health conditions and other eating disorders, or for these conditions to develop as a result of the stress from anorexia. Common disorders can include depression, generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, PTSD, and substance abuse issues.
For those already dealing with a mental health condition, anorexia and its intensive control over food and eating often provides the patient with a sense of control over their lives. Even when anorexia nervosa develops on its own, the stress and focus on food and body image often leads to anxiety and depression.
When we treat anorexia, we see our patients in their entirety. This means Dr. Sehdev considers other mental health challenges as another part of the eating disorder and considers successful recovery one that gives you the tools to maintain healthy eating habits and overall mental health.
Our Strategies for Treating Anorexia in Dallas
An eating disorder like anorexia begins as emotions and thoughts before translating into physical behavior. It may be a result of a mental or biological precondition, or it may develop because of social and cultural pressures as teens and adults struggle to reach current impossible standards for beauty and fitness.
This is what makes anorexia a mental health disorder that generally needs the assistance of a professional Dallas psychiatrist to overcome.
Dr. Sehdev works with you from the start to build a treatment plan that addresses why you are experiencing anorexia, the sense of compulsion that prompts you to restrict calories, and the path toward healthier thinking. Some of his methods include:
- Medication – As a psychiatrist, we are able to use medically assisted treatment to help manage the symptoms of anorexia. Antidepressants are one solution for minimizing feelings of depression and anxiety, but other medications can help manage OCD, substance abuse, and other challenges.
- Psychotherapy – Talk therapy with modalities like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and others can help you build self esteem and establish strategies to monitor moods, cope with stress, and more.
- Other Resources – We can help you create a support network, work with family members, and provide additional resources and tools to promote a successful recovery from eating disorders.
The earlier a patient can receive care from a psychiatrist for anorexia nervosa, the less extreme the physical side effects usually are. Restrictive eating often causes extreme calorie and nutrient deficits, which can result in physical health problems that require the attention of a doctor or dentist. If you are working with other health professionals as part of your recovery, our treatment plan can take any medications and treatments for physical health into consideration.
Contact Dr. Sehdev for Anorexia Treatment
Dr. Sehdev takes a personalized approach to anorexia treatment at Aware Behavioral Health. His years of training and experience working with mental health conditions in Dallas guides his effective treatment strategies while his natural empathy ensures you feel comfortable and respected throughout the recovery process.
We can provide anorexia treatment in Fort Worth, Dallas, and the surrounding area for you or a loved one. Our telehealth treatments can get you the care you need in a way that is convenient for you. Contact us by phone at 888-677-4562 or through our online form to learn more about how psychiatry can help you recover from anorexia.