Eating disorders are complex mental health issues that affect your physical and psychological well-being. Even if a doctor has not diagnosed you with anorexia or bulimia, you may still suffer from disordered eating. Avoidant restrictive eating disorder treatment is available for individuals who have clinically significant problems with food intake that lead to a nutritional deficiency or impaired psychosocial functioning.
What Is Avoidant Restrictive Eating Disorder?
Avoidant restrictive eating disorder used to be referred to as selective eating disorder. Experts believed it to be a condition that only affected children and teenagers. However, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) renamed it and widened its diagnostic criteria.
The DSM-5 characterizes this disorder by the avoidance of certain foods because of a previous negative experience with them or an aversion to their taste, appearance, brand, smell, presentation, or texture. Avoidant restrictive eating disorder treatment is not necessary if your teenager simply refuses to eat broccoli because he thinks that it’s disgusting. The individual must also exhibit nutritional deficiency, significant weight loss or absence of weight gain in children, dependence on supplements or a feeding tube, or problems functioning in social environments.
Properly diagnosing this condition is important because avoidant restrictive eating disorder treatment may be different than anorexia or bulimia treatment. People with avoidant restrictive eating disorder aren’t concerned with their body shape or weight.
This ailment often has ties to sensory issues or fear. People might stop eating certain foods because they have trouble digesting them or associate them with a frightening experience, such as choking or vomiting. They may also avoid entire categories of foods such as soups or sauces because they can’t handle the texture.
When Is Avoidant Restrictive Eating Disorder Treatment Necessary?
Avoidant restrictive eating disorder treatment is necessary when picky eating becomes obsessive. Adults with the disorder are more likely to suffer from depression than children with the disorder. They may also have compulsions that negatively affect their quality of life.
Food is often involved in social activities. As a result, struggling with an eating disorder can be isolating. You might avoid mealtimes with family or friends. Someone with avoidant restrictive eating disorder may also miss out on opportunities or fail to take care of responsibilities because of the time it takes them to finish a meal.
This type of eating disorder may wreak havoc on your quality of life. If your eating disorder impacts your mood, social life, daily responsibilities, or nutrition, you need to seek treatment.
What Kinds of Avoidant Restrictive Eating Disorder Treatments Are Used?
One type of treatment is not always effective for everyone. Although there are some commonalities in people who struggle with an eating disorder, everyone has a different history. Therefore, clinicians must personalize a unique combination of therapies for each client.
Your goals will likely affect your treatment. For example, some people want to be able to eat a wider variety of foods, while others need help managing anxiety around food or social situations that involve meals.
Some therapies help you transform your behavioral response to certain stimuli. Others allow you to become more aware of your thoughts so that you can process them without succumbing to an intense emotional response. Therapy and education can help you understand your triggers and cope in a healthy way.
At Ocean Recovery, some of the treatments we use include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy
- Nutrition therapy
- Art therapy
Your relationship with food doesn’t have to be troubling. Contact us at 800-641-2388 to learn more about how our avoidant restrictive eating disorder treatment can help you or a loved one find peace.