There are a handful of different types of eating disorders, and whether it is anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating disorder, or another form of eating disorder, the results can be catastrophic on an individual’s life. One of the main reasons why eating disorders tend to be so destructive is that they are often accompanied by a co-occurring mental health condition. Many individuals who battle an eating disorder also struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD. Individuals who are faced with this situation often go through a series of dangerous consequences if they do not obtain appropriate treatment.
At Carolina House, we recognize just how complicated eating disorders of all kinds can be. We understand that most individuals who grapple with an eating disorder also suffer from a co-occurring condition, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder. Therefore, at our facility in North Carolina, we supply treatment that not only addresses the primary concern of an eating disorder, but also focuses on rectifying one’s obsessive-compulsive disorder in ways that bring about comprehensive recovery.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
When you have a loved one who is visibly struggling with an eating disorder and the co-occurring condition of obsessive-compulsive disorder, it can provoke a range of emotions. Spanning from anger and frustration, to sadness and hopelessness, your loved one’s condition may make you feel as though there is nothing you can do to help him or her. Despite feeling discouraged, it is important to remain confident, because there are always ways that you can attempt to help your loved one get the treatment that he or she needs.
For starters, the best thing that you can do is arm yourself with as much knowledge and information as possible regarding eating disorders and co-occurring conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder. Focus on educating yourself about the specific type of eating disorder that your loved one has, and find out what the effects of this disorder may be, how it can be treated, and how you can be supportive of your loved one during this time. Also, follow the same guidelines for learning about obsessive-compulsive disorder; however, focus on how this condition interacts with an eating disorder so you can obtain a better understanding of what your loved one is experiencing.
As stated before, find out what kinds of treatments are effective for your loved one’s condition. Spend some time reaching out to treatment centers that supply a variety of methods known to bring about positive change in those with an eating disorder and co-occurring obsessive-compulsive disorder. While you are conducting this type of research, also take note of centers that can provide the type of care your loved one needs so that, if he or she does accept that receiving treatment would be beneficial, you are able to give him or her options of places that may be able to meet his or her specific needs.
You can help take the burden off your loved one by offering to help him or her with some things that he or she is concerned will not get done while he or she is in treatment. This can include arranging childcare, helping with house maintenance, and paying bills.
When your loved one is afflicted with an eating disorder and co-occurring obsessive-compulsive disorder, the best thing you can do for him or her is serve as a constant source of support. Show that you are invested in his or her wellbeing, that you care about what is going on in his or her treatment, and that you are willing to cheer him or her on as he or she works towards developing a healthier state of being.
Why Consider Treatment at Carolina House
When an eating disorder has consumed an individual’s life, there is potential for the results of that disorder to become fatal. This serious illness can bring about a vast number of side effects that range from being uncomfortable to being deadly. For example, someone with an eating disorder places him or herself at risk for kidney failure, gastrointestinal damage, heart failure, malnutrition, and more. Additionally, the mental stress that one goes through when faced with an eating disorder can cause symptoms of pre-existing mental health conditions to become exasperated, or trigger new symptoms. When a mental illness such as obsessive-compulsive disorder goes untreated, symptoms including self-harm and suicidal ideation can come to the forefront. Both conditions can bring about social isolation, familial discord, academic failure, unemployment, money problems, and more. Despite the fact that eating disorders and co-occurring obsessive-compulsive disorder are so complex and dangerous, there is treatment available that can help individuals dealing with this condition discover a recovered existence.
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, including obsessive-compulsive disorder. 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, and employs a contracted medical doctor, a psychiatrist, and a registered dietitian, 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 dietitian, 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, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, 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 every 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 obsessive-compulsive disorder, 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 obsessive-compulsive disorder, 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:
- 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.
- Two Food and Feeling Groups take place every day. These are short, skills identification groups that occur after every lunch or dinner.
- Interpersonal Process Groups occur three times per week and are dually led by a licensed professional counselor and other qualified professionals who have been fully trained in the group modality.
- 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 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.
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:
- Yoga therapy
- Culinary Group
- Body movement activities
- Strength training
- Art therapy
- Embodying Recovery (a sensorimotor psychotherapy group)
Receiving comprehensive treatment in a residential setting is enormously advantageous for those who are suffering from an eating disorder and co-occurring obsessive-compulsive disorder. 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 obsessive-compulsive disorder, 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.