—What We Treat—
Teenage Eating Disorder Treatment
Ascend Healthcare’s teen treatment center is designed to help ease teenagers’ personal and shared developmental challenges, reinforce their sense of support, and develop their ability to self-regulate in a healthy manner. Ascend Healthcare offers 24/7 support and provides therapeutic care tailored to each child’s specific needs. We do not subscribe to a one-size-fits-all treatment model, because we know that every adolescent is a unique and growing person. We are meticulous about being attentive to adolescents’ physical and emotional needs during such a sensitive, challenging, and formative time in their lives.
Teens dealing with either substance abuse or other mental health disorders can develop disordered eating patterns to cope with their emotional discomfort. If a teen is experiencing symptoms related to compulsive overeating, restricting food, or compensating for food they have eaten with purging or over-exercise, our residential teen treatment center’s program can help. We have a registered dietician on staff along with experienced licensed clinicians to assist your teen with body acceptance, self-love, and a nutritional plan to help them heal.
Treatment is about bringing our systems back into balance. We do this by having regular mindfulness exercise, including yoga, with a focus on feeling good in our bodies and appreciating what our bodies can do. Additionally, we have a chef on staff that creates beautiful balanced meals using whole foods and avoiding processed foods and excess sugars. We relearn how to attend to hunger and fullness cues rather than emotional eating or other emotional responses to food and our bodies. We have therapists experienced with issues of perfectionism and shame, as well as sexual abuse issues that may contribute to food and body image issues. Eating disorders vary in terms of their severity. If a teen is experiencing an eating disorder as a primary issue, they may require an eating disorder-specific treatment program. Please call to speak with our trained staff to see if Ascend Healthcare’s teen treatment center is right for your child.
Anorexia Nervosa– Restricting food intake, low body weight, and fear of gaining weight are some signs and symptoms of anorexia nervosa. Someone may see themselves as heavier than they are and strive to be thin. This may include the elimination of a variety of foods and food groups, and minimal food intake altogether. This can lead to organ failure, malnutrition, amenorrhea, reproductive damage, heart complications, constipation, lanugo- soft hair growth over the face and body, obsessive thoughts and behaviors around planning meals and counting calories in and out.
Bulimia Nervosa– Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by an episode of binge eating and a compensatory behavior that follows like vomiting, taking laxatives, fasting, and/or excessive exercise. Often people affected by Bulimia are average in weight. Frequent purging leads to tooth decay, organ damage, dehydration, increased anxiety, depression, and in severe cases can lead to an electrolyte imbalance, causing heart attack and possible death. Individuals struggling with bulimia may also experience drug abuse, cutting, and other risky behavior including risky sexual activity.
Binge Eating Disorder– Binge Eating Disorder is a disordered pattern of eating that is characterized by consuming large quantities of food at one time. Often the rate of consumption is compulsive and feels uncontrollable. Frequently, feelings of guilt and shame follow a binge. Often someone affected by BED may eat normally in front of others and binge when alone.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder– Body Dysmorphic Disorder is characteristic of all eating disorders. It is the inability to accurately see one’s self and a distorted image of one’s self. It is an obsessive preoccupation with some aspect of one’s appearance that is perceived to be significantly flawed and warrants exceptional measures to fix it. It may be that the flaw is imagined or it may be an exaggerated response to a part of the body that one is not happy with. BDD typically develops in adolescence and can be extraordinarily intrusive.
Orthorexia– Orthorexia is an obsessive preoccupation with eating healthy foods. The paradox is that the preoccupation with these food limitations can lead to unhealthy consequences such as difficulties in relationships, isolation, anxiety, rigidity around eating in social environments, and also malnutrition.