Someone who is afflicted with body dysmorphic disorder will struggle with an intense fixation on his or her own perceived flaws. The flaws that he or she fixates on are generally not there and/or not easily noticed by others. Body dysmorphic disorder often co-occurs alongside of an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, or compulsive overeating. With the eating disorder being the predominant condition in most cases, body dysmorphic disorder serves as a co-occurring condition that also requires treatment itself. Those who have an eating disorder and co-occurring body dysmorphic disorder can obtain professional that addresses the underlying causes of his or her eating disorder, all while determining how body dysmorphic disorder relates to that condition. This type of multifaceted treatment is critical for this condition, as allowing an eating disorder with co-occurring body dysmorphic disorder to continue can lead to problems in all areas of one’s life, including at home, at work, and within social circles.
At Carolina House, we know that an eating disorder and a co-occurring condition like body dysmorphic disorder can be an emotionally painful experience. We also recognize that many people continue to live in pain when treatment is not obtained. Therefore, we supply comprehensive treatment that includes evidence-based care that allows individuals to get the help they need to put a stop to both conditions. At Carolina House, we can help individuals pull their lives back together and live happily.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
When you have a loved one that is afflicted with an eating disorder and co-occurring body dysmorphic disorder, it can be incredibly painful to watch. When you are close to someone with this condition, it can be a daily challenge to watch him or her engage in the behaviors that perpetuate the cycle of this illness. You might feel as though you have done everything in your power to help your loved one. Despite feeling this way, it is critical that you understand that even when you are feeling the most defeated, you can still do things to help guide your loved one towards obtaining life-saving treatment.
To help you understand this situation more, spend some time gathering information on eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder. By doing this, you can obtain a wealth of knowledge that will help you through this difficult time. Additionally, you can begin to obtain insight into what your loved one is experiencing.
It is important to always be prepared if your loved one should come to your looking for help. You can ensure that you are ready to greet this event by researching treatment centers that care for individuals simoltanetously an battling eating disorder and body dysmorphic disorder. With your research completed, you can be ready to recommend specific programs and get the ball rolling on your loved ones treatment as quickly as possibly.
Speak with your loved one about how you are feeling. Express your concerns using examples of his or her behaviors that have left you worried. Utilize a non-judgmental tone while having this conversation so that your loved one is not left feeling attacked.
Should your loved one agree to go to treatment, speak with his or her treatment center to learn how you can be of the most support to him or her during his or her recovery. Additionally, ask if there are any resources, such as family therapy, that you can engage in with your loved one at this time.
As soon as your loved one admits him or herself into treatment, do everything you can to remain a solid source of encouragement for him or her. Your loved one needs a tremendous support system during this time in his or her life.
Why Consider Treatment at Carolina House
When any type of eating disorder goes untreated, a series of negative effects can begin to develop. For example, some eating disorders can cause muscle loss and weakness, osteoporosis, gastric ruptures, electrolyte imbalances, and high blood pressure, while others can cause pancreatitis, rupturing of the esophagus, and diabetes. No matter which eating disorder an individual is experiencing, the risk for death always remains, as these effects (plus others) can be fatal. When the co-occurring condition of body dysmorphic disorder is introduced into the picture, other significant consequences can emerge, ranging from social withdrawal and complete isolation to strained relationships and overwhelming feelings of embarrassment. In addition, someone with body dysmorphic disorder might turn to the abuse of substances, such as drugs or alcohol, to mask the upsetting emotions they are experiencing as a result of his or her condition. Despite the many negative aspects of having an eating disorder and co-occurring body dysmorphic disorder, there is help available. Professional treatment can help individuals in this situation turn their lives around for the better.
Types of Treatment Offered at Carolina House
Since 2006, Carolina House has 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 body dysmorphic 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, 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 such as body dysmorphic 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 brief check-in session each week, which usually lasts about 30 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 anorexia, the staff at Carolina House incorporates family therapy into our clients’ treatment plans. Family therapy sessions are offered on a weekly basis with a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, 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, including anorexia, 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:
- Two Food and Feeling Groups take place every day. These are short, skills identification groups that occur after every lunch or dinner.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Groups take place three times per week and are facilitated by a licensed counselor who is specially trained in DBT.
- Interpersonal Process Groups occur two times per week and are led by a licensed therapist and other qualified professionals who have been fully trained in the group modality.
- Three Integrated Health Groups take place each week, including Addictions Education, 12-Step Facilitation and Relapse Prevention. 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.
- 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, nutrition, and guided self-care, among many others.
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
- Body movement activities
- Embodying Recovery (a sensorimotor psychotherapy group)
- Culinary group
- Art therapy
- Yoga therapy
Receiving comprehensive treatment in a residential setting is enormously advantageous for those who are suffering from an eating disorder and co-occurring body dysmorphic 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 body dysmorphic 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.