The Deadliest Mental Health Conditions
A recent blog by Eating Disorder Hope talks about the importance of receiving treatment for anorexia nervosa as soon as possible. As we’ve stated in these pages, eating disorders – anorexia, in particular – are the deadliest of mental health conditions. 10% of those with the disease will succumb to their struggles, while 20% will remain chronically ill for the rest of their lives. Catching the disease early and seeking treatment promptly can help mitigate some of this. An item from the article that really stood out to us, though, was a 2021 study examining the barriers and facilitators to anorexia treatment. In other words, what was keeping these folks from seeking help, and what led them to finally get the treatment they so desperately needed? In the interest of those still struggling with their conditions, we would like to take a look at those here.
Barriers to Anorexia Treatment
According to the study, the biggest barrier to treatment is the failure of “close others” to recognize and address the disease. The article gives examples of participants being told to “just eat normally again” during the early stages of the disease. They cite doctors who told them that what they were going through was just a phase they would grow out of. As a facility that treats eating disorders, we should be shocked to hear such things from medical professionals. In truth, though, it’s something we hear far too often from our clients. The study details additional barriers that fall along the same lines. Failure to get recommendations to programs by healthcare professionals is one. They also include limited availability and long waiting periods at treatment centers. Finally, encounters with professionals who were unable to handle mental health disorders are another major barrier.
The Other Side of the Coin
As one would expect, many of the facilitators to anorexia treatment were the polar opposite of the barriers. They also include a lot of judgment-free support. The participants mentioned the concern and encouragement to seek treatment from family members, friends, and doctors. They talk about the education and information that is becoming more readily available as stigmas surrounding eating disorders are starting to break down. This includes positive role models for treatment. For example, bloggers and influencers who experienced the disease first-hand, and celebrities who come out to share their struggles. They also mention timely referrals to treatment centers and clear and explicitly stated diagnoses of anorexia nervosa by doctors.
Real Courage Means Asking for Help
Ocean Recovery has been successfully treating anorexia and other eating disorders since 2002. At our facilities in sunny Newport Beach, California, we have helped hundreds of clients overcome their eating disorders and go on to live contented and productive lives. Our aggressive eating disorder program uses different types of one-on-one and group therapy services. Some examples include art therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, family systems, and psychodrama. We also offer a variety of activities, such as swimming, volleyball, and yoga. If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, please consider giving Ocean Recovery a call today. Real courage means asking for help. Ocean Recovery is ready to answer.