Austin Eating Disorder Treatment

Approximately 4 out of 10 people have either personally experienced an eating disorder or know someone who has been diagnosed with one. Nearly 3% of children ages 13-18 years old struggle with an eating disorder. Eating disorders are on the rise in the United States; they are a group of disorders that can develop at any point in a person’s lifetime, but typically appear in the early teen years. They are often co-occurring with anxiety-related disorders (e.g., obsessive-compulsive disorder). There are three main types of eating disorders: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder.

Recognizing Eating Disorders

Anorexia Nervosa:

  • Obsessive fear of weight gain
  • Refusal to maintain a healthy body weight
  • Unhealthy view of body image
  • May restrict food intake
  • May purge food eaten

Bulimia Nervosa

  • Repeated binge eating; eating past the point of being uncomfortably full
  • Feelings of lack of control over binge eating episodes
  • Behaviors to compensate for increased food intake:
  • Excessive exercise
  • Diet pills or laxative use
  • Unhealthy view of body image

Binge Eating Disorder

  • Repeated binge eating (at least once per week for 3 months)
  • Feelings of lack of control over binge eating episodes
  • Feelings of distress over binge eating
  • No behaviors to compensate for increased food intake

Recommended Treatment For Eating Disorders

With Co-occurring OCD: Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), a form of Cognitive Behavioral therapy, is considered the “gold standard” when treating OCD, and studies estimate that more than 85% of patients experience significant symptom reduction after a course of this type of treatment. ERP consists of incremental steps towards increasing exposure to anxiety-provoking situations accompanied by prevention of associated rituals or compulsions. Home and other out-of-office exposure sessions are often important components of treatment.

Without Co-Occurring OCD: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered the treatment of choice with emphasis placed on identifying unhealthy thoughts, challenging those thoughts, and generating alternative coping thoughts. Relaxation techniques targeting physical symptoms of stress and intense feelings may also be a helpful component of the treatment plan. These new skills are then implemented in situations that cause anxiety (in vivo exposures). This is accomplished gradually beginning with the easiest situations then progressing to the more difficult.

For more information about eating disorders or to schedule an appointment call (512) 246-7225 or email us at [email protected].

If you have any additional questions please contact us at 512-246-7225. If you are ready to get started, please visit our client portal.