Anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, specific phobiaa, social anxiety disorder, and related conditions continue to wreak havoc on the lives of men and women throughout the United States. Sadly, anxiety can dramatically impact an individual’s physical, mental, emotional, and social wellbeing. When a person who has an eating disorder also experiences a co-occurring mental health disorder, such as anxiety, that individual can suffer a myriad of additional issues that can impact the way in which he or she functions on a regular basis.
At Carolina House, we realize that eating disorders are often accompanied by co-occurring mental health disorders, such as anxiety disorders. Therefore, we supply a comprehensive approach to each of our patients that addresses the physical and psychological aspects of both conditions as they relate to one another. We are pleased to offer care that can be life saving and help countless individuals who struggle with an eating disorder and co-occurring anxiety reclaim their lives once and for all.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Watching a loved one who is suffering from an eating disorder can be tremendously upsetting. When that same loved one is also battling anxiety as a co-occurring condition to their eating disorder, watching him or her spiral out of control can be even more saddening. If you have a loved one who is grappling with this condition, it is likely that you feel depleted of ways to try and help him or her. Even though you might be feeling defeated, there are a number of things that you can do to help him or her obtain the care he or she needs to regain positive health.
For starters, the most important thing you can do is learn as much as you can about eating disorders (specifically the type that your loved one is dealing with). Find out what can cause them, what effects they produce, and what behaviors your loved one might display. Spend some time educating yourself about anxiety as well, and research how eating disorders and anxiety can exist simultaneously with one another. The more you know, the more helpful you will be for your loved one.
Speak to your loved one about your concerns. Do so by approaching him or her non-judgmentally, and in a supportive, loving manner. Explain your fears about his or her condition, express your desire to help and support him or her, and let him or her know that you will be there during his or her transition into treatment.
Locate treatment centers that address eating disorders and co-occurring conditions, such as anxiety. Reach out to these centers to find out more about how they treat these conditions, what kind of living accommodations they provide, and how they can help your loved one. By doing this, you can be prepared to take action when your loved one comes to you for help.
As soon as your loved one has started his or her treatment, continue to show your support by visiting, helping carry out duties on the home front, and checking in with him or her on how treatment is going. Showing your support is critical at this time.
Why Consider Treatment at Carolina House
Sadly, eating disorders of all kinds can be deadly if they are not treated. When another mental health concern like anxiety is present, the risk of this condition being fatal increases. Eating disorders can lead to malnourishment, fatigue, weak bones, organ damage, and much more. Untreated anxiety can cause issues such as insomnia, self-harming behaviors, and the abuse of substances like drugs and/or alcohol. Both conditions can cause effects that include social withdrawal, familial discord, unemployment, and financial strife. The longer that either one of these conditions is allowed to persist, the more likely it is for these effects to occur. Therefore, someone who is facing an eating disorder and co-occurring anxiety should obtain treatment immediately. Doing so can prevent these effects from occurring, as well as reverse some of the damage that has already been done. Additionally, treatment can help improve upon one’s physical and psychological well being so that obtaining recovery can be less challenging in the long run.
Types of Treatment Offered at Carolina House
Since 2006, we, at Carolina House, have been devoted to providing world-class, residential care to women who are in need of comprehensive treatment to overcome the symptoms of eating disorders and co-occurring concerns, such as anxiety. Situated in a serene, wooded setting, Carolina House offers female clients, ages 17 and older, a tranquil environment that is fully conducive to true and lasting healing. We hold ourselves to a standard of excellence in the care we deliver so that all of the women who engage in treatment with us can succeed in discovering a renewed life of wellness.
At Carolina House, we have made it our goal to provide a beautiful, safe, and nurturing environment that is run by highly trained and supportive staff. We use a structured, multifaceted treatment approach that is designed to usher clients successfully into life-long recovery. Our treatment approach also encourages self-exploration towards transformation through self-nurturing expressions of living. This goal and these treatment approaches are met by providing clients with individualized treatment plans that are catered to meet each of their very unique needs. Various aspects that may be incorporated into these treatment plans are described in the following:
Medical care: Clients who are battling an eating disorder often need consistent medical attention to address such concerns as re-feeding issues, complications from starvation, somatic complaints, electrolyte imbalances, and/or gastrointestinal distress. Carolina House provides 24-hour nursing care for all clients, as well as employs a contracted medical doctor, a psychiatrist, and a registered dietician, all of whom are skilled in the treatment of eating disorders. These professionals are able to meet with clients to ensure that their recovery remains on a healthy track.
Re-Feeding: When treating an eating disorder, there is often the need for re-feeding interventions to be made in order to help get clients back on track with proper nutritional intake. At Carolina House, clients are closely involved with the registered dietician, the culinary staff therapist, and the clinical and medical teams so that specialized meal plans can be devised. These meal plans are designed to adequately address the nutritional needs of each client during each stage of treatment. Meals are closely monitored by staff in order to provide the highest level of support as clients reach nutritional stabilization and decrease their participation in the rituals and behaviors that are symptomatic of their eating disorders.
Culinary program: All clients at Carolina House may take part in our culinary program, which offers them full kitchen access throughout their time spent in treatment. Setting us apart from other eating disorder programs throughout the country, participation in this program provides clients with the unique opportunity to experience meal planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and a family-style eating environment, all of which work towards building self-confidence as clients make their way through treatment.
Medication management: When individuals are battling symptoms of a co-occurring mental health condition like anxiety, the use of certain medications may be recommended in order to help alleviate some of their distress. Clients have the opportunity to meet with a psychiatrist once or twice a week in order to determine the need for any medication, as well as to monitor the therapeutic effectiveness of any medication prescribed.
Individual therapy: Clients are provided with one full individual therapy session each week that typically lasts between 45 and 60 minutes. Additionally, clients will meet with their therapists for one or two brief check-in sessions each week, each of which may last anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes. These sessions are designed to provide clients with an opportunity to meet in a private, confidential setting with their therapists so that they can discuss their progress in treatment, process through any setbacks that may have arisen, and celebrate any successes that have occurred.
Family therapy: Recognizing how important family involvement can be in our clients’ successful recovery from an eating disorder and co-occurring anxiety, the staff at Carolina House frequently incorporates family therapy into our clients’ treatment plans. Family therapy sessions are typically offered on a weekly basis, meeting for an average of 45 to 60 minutes for each session. If deemed appropriate and therapeutically beneficial to clients, additional family sessions may be added on an as needed basis.
Group therapy: When working to overcome an eating disorder and co-occurring anxiety, group therapy sessions have proven to be incredibly beneficial and effective. Clients typically participate in an average of six group therapy sessions each weekday, four group sessions on Saturdays, and two group sessions on Sundays. These group therapy sessions are typically broken down as follows:
- A variety of other groups occur during the week as well, including both process and psychoeducational groups. The topics that are covered during these sessions vary but may include discussions on body image, media awareness, empowerment, relapse prevention, nutrition, and guided self-care, among many others.
- Two Food and Feeling Groups take place every day. These are short, skills identification groups that occur after every lunch or dinner.
- Two Integrated Health Groups take place each week, including Addictions Education and 12-Step Facilitation. These are led by a licensed clinical addictions specialist and are attended by all clients. Weekly AA and NA meetings are also made available to clients who need them.
- Interpersonal Process Groups occur three times per week and are dually led by a licensed professional counselors and other qualified professionals who have been fully trained in the group modality.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Groups take place three times per week and are facilitated by a licensed clinical social worker who is specially trained in DBT.
Experiential therapy: In order to offer clients a holistic approach to the treatment, Carolina House offers a number of experiential therapy options in addition to the more traditional therapeutic interventions. Examples of these therapies include the following:
- Strength training
- Culinary Group
- Body movement activities
- Embodying Recovery (a sensorimotor psychotherapy group)
- Yoga therapy
- Art therapy
Receiving comprehensive treatment in a residential setting is enormously advantageous for those who are suffering from an eating disorder and co-occurring anxiety. However, at Carolina House, we recognize that completion of residential treatment does not always mean that clients have finished achieving full recovery from their eating disorders. For this reason, we offer continuing care services through our partial day treatment program and our intensive outpatient program.
Additionally, keeping in mind that recovery is an ongoing process, the staff at Carolina House is dedicated to ensuring that clients have a definitive plan set in place prior to their being discharged. From the time of admission, clients’ primary therapists are assessing their outside resources and determining what services need to be in place in order to support a smooth discharge plan. Typically, the goal will be to step down to a lower level of care slowly so that clients can be fully prepared for increased independence.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder and co-occurring anxiety, the staff at Carolina House wants to help. Our world-class programming can help you overcome the symptoms that plague you, while also assisting you as you develop the confidence needed to embark on a bright and promising future. Do not continue to suffer. Let the staff at Carolina House show you that there’s a better way to live.