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4 Pillars of Mental Health Care for Anorexia

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Regardless of the approach, the goal of mental health care for anorexia is to help an individual return to a normal weight and to adapt healthy eating habits.

A team of professionals may be required to help a person recover, and often times an extended break from "real life" is necessary to help the individual focus solely on getting better.

Medical intervention.

The first pillar of mental health care for anorexia is medical intervention. While a doctor's assessment will help address any physical problems that have manifested because of the condition, it will also reveal what biological factors may be contributing to poor mental health.

In some cases, physical disease can cause the kinds of mental imbalances that lead to the development of disordered eating behaviors.

Working with a physician, an individual may be asked to submit to blood tests or other assessments to rule out underlying conditions.

Tailored therapy.

There are many different types of therapy that can be effective in treating anorexia. From cognitive-behavioral therapy to hypnotherapy, it's important that someone with an eating disorder receive personalized care that is targeted toward helping him or her reach specific goals.

It's very rare that recovery can happen without the help of a trained professional, so whether an individual works with a nutritionist, a psychologist, a psychiatrist or simply a peer counselor, getting expert advice and support to assist in goal-setting, progress-tracking and behavior modification along the journey is crucial.

Group support.

Having the support of friends and family members when recovering from anorexia is critical, but it's also important to have a network of people one can talk to who understand the struggles firsthand. This is where group support can be valuable. Local mental health centers, hospitals or 12-step meetings are great places to find support groups in which to network and share experiences.

Lifestyle changes.

One of the most important pillars of mental health care for anorexia is making lasting lifestyle changes - and setting oneself up for success in the long run. It is easier to make short-term progress and healthy changes while in the safety zone of a recovery center or a support group, but those "crutches" may not be there forever.

Individuals may need to make sweeping changes when it comes to who they socialize with, where they work, how they spend their time or other areas of their lives. These changes are for the good of their mental and physical health and should be carried out regardless of how difficult it may be to navigate the new waters of recovery.

Source: Web MD