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Eating Disorders Therapists in NYC, NJ, FL

An eating disorder is a dangerous condition because of the many physical and mental consequences it carries. Untreated, eating disorders lead to a wide range of complications — from depression, anxiety and isolation to hair loss, digestive problems and even death. Recovery is possible. Look for eating disorder treatment near me from Florida, New York or New Jersey. You’ll find Online Psychiatrists, offering telepsychiatry, which affords you the opportunity to get treatment from your home. Meet a renowned psychiatrist with the latest eating disorder treatments. Call today for an appointment.

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Dr. Ivanov is a thoughtful and caring doctor. His treatment has been working very well for me. He makes himself available and never makes me wait too long to be seen. I am in finance management and extremely busy with work. I appreciate physicians who value their patients' time. I have been going to Dr. Ivanov for years and refuse to see anyone else.

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What Is an Eating Disorder?

An eating disorder (ED) is a mental illness characterized by irregular eating behaviors. The condition covers abnormal thoughts and emotions about food. Despite the increasing prevalence of eating disorders throughout the country, it’s still one of the most misunderstood forms of mental illness.

Through Online Psychiatrists — serving New York, New Jersey and Florida — you can get effective treatment for eating disorders and related issues through the convenient and confidential technology of video conferencing and telepsychiatry. Your psychiatrist also specializes in remote treatments for:

What Are the Risks and Symptoms of Eating Disorders?

The risks of ED are dangerous. Depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, social and relationship issues, and even death are often associated with the condition. Some of the signs that you may need eating disorder counseling include:

  • Showing excessive care about eating
  • Bingeing on food
  • Purging behaviors, such as vomiting or over-exercising
  • Skipping meals or making excuses for not eating
  • Worrying or complaining too much about being fat
  • Obsessing about body shape
  • Avoiding social functions, especially if due to appearance anxiety
  • Experiencing constant weight fluctuations
  • Fixating on food, recipes and doing your own cooking
  • Exhibiting ritualistic eating patterns, such as eating alone, cutting food into small pieces or hiding food
  • Being lethargic
  • Swinging from overeating to fasting

All these behaviors ultimately damage your physical and mental well-being. This illness virtually takes over your life and turns it upside down. If you or a loved one exhibits these symptoms, seek the intervention of an experienced eating disorder psychologist at Online Psychiatrists.

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What Are the Different Types of Eating Disorders?

You may consider this illness a lifestyle choice, but it’s a complex mental health condition. The most common types of these disorders include:

  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Binge-eating disorder
  • Pica
  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)

The National Eating Disorders Association reports that more than 30 million people in the U.S. have struggled with some form of eating disorder. Of these, 20 million are female, which is two thirds of the total. Another study states that at least one American dies due to an eating disorder every 62 minutes.

More than 70 percent of those suffering from eating disorders don’t get treatment due to the stigma of the disorder, misconceptions surrounding it, a lack of education and sometimes, misdiagnosis. These numbers highlight the gravity of this illness and why you need early diagnosis and treatment. The good news is that advances in psychotherapy are providing effective eating disorder treatments.

What Are the Causes of Eating Disorders?

Like most mental illnesses, multiple factors influence eating disorders. A combination of psychological, biological and environmental issues contributes to the development of these disorders. That’s why you need to consult a doctor well-versed in both the physical and psychological aspects of the condition.

Your eating disorder psychologist uncovers the unique set of circumstances that likely led to your illness. Working together, you and your doctor can address each factor, which may include:

  • Biological factors, such as genetics, irregular hormone functions and nutritional deficiencies
  • Psychological factors, like low self-esteem and a negative body image
  • Environmental factors, which range from a dysfunctional family and career pressure, especially for models and dancers, to aesthetically-oriented sports like rowing, diving and gymnastics

Family and childhood traumas, sexual abuse, peer pressure and stressful life transitions also create an environment where ED may result. Your psychiatrist treats each factor, as it applies to your specific case. And successful treatment modalities do exist.

What Constitutes Treatment for Eating Disorders?

A range of solutions for treating binge eating disorder is available. The complexity of eating disorders requires a comprehensive, personalized and professional touch. Eating disorder treatment combines different techniques, including assessment and monitoring of your medical history, therapy, counseling and nutrition education.

You may require medication to manage your mood or anxiety symptoms. Your psychotherapist provides ongoing medication management during eating disorder counseling. Searching for an eating disorder therapist near me in FL, NJ or NY leads you to Online Psychiatrists. You’ll find a qualified eating disorder therapist, ready to work with you throughout the treatment process.

Telepsychiatry creates an ideal environment for evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of ED and all the associated symptoms. If you or a loved one shows any signs of a binge eating disorder, don’t hesitate to contact this practice to begin your eating disorder recovery.

FAQ's

How can I best help and support someone who has been diagnosed with an eating disorder?

Treatment for an eating disorder is challenging. It involves interrupting behaviors that have become driven and compelling. Recovery takes a team, which includes family, friends and other social supports, as well as medical and mental health professionals. Be empathic, but clear. List signs or behaviors you have noticed and are concerned about. Help locate a treatment provider and offer to go with your friend or relative to an evaluation. Be prepared that the affected individual may be uncertain about seeking treatment. Treatment is effective, many are able to achieve full recovery and the vast majority will improve with expert care. Treatment assists affected individuals to change what they do. It helps them normalize their eating and reframe the irrational thoughts that sustain eating disordered behaviors. Food is central to many social activities and the practice of eating meals with supportive friends and family is an important step in recovery.

We tend to hear about young women and eating disorders, but are there other groups of people that are more often affected by eating disorders?

Eating disorders do not discriminate and can affect anyone. Although they are most common in young women, it is not unusual for older women to have an eating disorder. Some have had one all their life, others were only mildly affected until some life event triggers clinical worsening – a stressor, physical illness or a co-occurring psychiatric illness, such as depression or anxiety. Recent evidence strongly suggests that anxiety disorders, especially social anxiety disorder, and obsessive compulsive personality traits increase individual vulnerability to an eating disorder. Eating disorders occur in men too. An estimated 10 percent of people with anorexia nervosa and bulimia and a third or more of people with binge eating disorder are male.

What is the difference between just overeating on occasion, food addiction and binge eating disorder?

Overeating on occasion or at festive occasions such as Thanksgiving is normal. By contrast, binge eating is the consumption of a large amount of food associated with a sense of loss of control over eating. Bingeing is usually a secretive behavior associated with feeling embarrassed, depressed and guilty. It often includes eating rapidly, untill uncomfortably full, or when not hungry and feeling disgusted by this behavior. Food addiction is a controversial term used by some researchers to describe parallels between the difficulties some people experience in limiting eating and substance addiction. Unlike in addiction however, where an individual is addicted to one particular class of drug, it is difficult to identify one food that underlies “food addiction.” Similarly the withdrawal syndrome caused by dependence on a drug of abuse is hard to demonstrate in overeaters. Despite the similarities between eating disorders and substance abuse, the neurobiology of binge eating and of drug addiction are not the same.

Have there been recent developments in research on the treatment of eating disorders?

Research on eating disorders has progressed rapidly in the past decade. We now know that eating disorders are biologically based illnesses and not lifestyle choices. Recent research has focused on identifying who is most at risk for eating disorders genetically. New studies are focusing on epigenetic gene-environment interactions that may help our understanding of the causes and sustaining factors. This is exciting work that holds promise for developing novel treatments in the coming years.

The most effective current treatments are behavioral interventions. In anorexia nervosa, family-based therapy is the treatment of choice in adolescents. For severely ill patients at very low weight who are unable to gain weight in outpatient treatment, admission to a specialized residential or hospital-based treatment program can be lifesaving. The most consistent indicator of relapse after intensive treatment is incomplete weight restoration, so reaching a healthy weight is necessary for recovery. Evidence now suggests that weight gain rates of three to four lbs a week are safe for patients with close medical monitoring and 24-hour nursing care. Some programs utilize feeding tubes. However, behavioral specialty programs are able to achieve weight gain of four pounds a week with oral feeding alone in most cases. Close outpatient follow up care following hospitalization is important as relapse risk is elevated for six months following inpatient treatment.

For bulimia, cognitive behavioral therapy is the most successful outpatient treatment approach. Binge eating also responds to cognitive behavioral interventions. Interpersonal therapy is effective in both bulimia and in binge eating disorder. Some medications may be useful along with these therapies.

I understand treatment may be very expensive (involving inpatient treatment); does insurance typically cover treatment of eating disorders?

With the advent of two federal laws (the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA)) more individuals are now eligible for coverage of treatment for eating disorders. The ACA prohibits insurance from denying coverage for a pre-existing condition and provides for coverage for young adults up to age 26 under their parents’ insurance. This is important as many individuals develop an eating disorder in their teens or early adulthood.

The problem, however, is that inpatient or residential treatment for severe anorexia nervosa may require weeks or even months of treatment for patients to reach a healthy weight. The criteria set by insurance companies to assess medical necessity for ongoing hospitalization or residential care remain very stringent. As a result, even when patients qualify for admission, adequate treatment remains difficult to obtain for many, as insurance will often only cover partial weight restoration. The evidence suggests that only full weight restoration in anorexia is associated with improved prognosis. For more information on insurance-related questions see the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and the Eating Disorders Coalition.

What questions should I ask a doctor when seeking treatment?

Here are some questions that may be relevant to an admission for treatment of anorexia nervosa include:

  • What are your average rates of weekly weight gain? What percentage of your patients reach full weight restoration?
  • Do you employ oral refeeding only and if not, what percentage of patients have a feeding tube placed?
  • What is the target weight you use and how do you establish it?
  • What types of therapy do you offer?
  • How are families involved in treatment?
  • What are the credentials and training of your staff?
  • What medical services do you provide and how do you manage medical complications or co-occurring psychiatric conditions?

Lists of outpatient and inpatient providers are available from the Academy of Eating Disorders and the National Eating Disorders Association.

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