Anorexia nervosa and bulimia are eating disorders that have come to prominence as a common psychological disorder in the modern age. Anorexia is a compulsive desire to stop eating to lose weight. Bulimia is also a compulsive desire to lose weight, but involves bouts of extreme food consumption followed by purging to get rid of the food. Both involve dysfunction in body image, in which individuals see themselves as overweight, even though they are not. Therapy in an eating disorder treatment center can provide the intensive medical and psychological care these patients need. A number of new treatments are offering hope for individuals who struggle with these eating disorders:
Effective Therapies For Anorexia Patients
Finding effective psychotherapies for patients with anorexia nervosa has been a challenge in past years. However, new data indicates that when young patients enter family therapy, they see greater improvement in symptoms and fewer hospitalizations than those in other types of psychotherapy. This group effort toward managing the disease appears to help these young patients understand and deal with the underlying causes of their weight obsession.
Treating Anorexia With A Hormone
Researchers are investigating the effectiveness of oxytocin, often called the "love hormone," for treatment of anorexia nervosa. Patients who have the condition have been found to have low levels of this important hormone that produces positive feelings. Providing additional oxytocin reduces the patient's focus on body image and food, improving their odds for recovery.
Magnets To Improve Self Control in Anorexia Patients
A new method for treating anorexia involves the use of magnets that are placed on the outside surface of the cranium, which then stimulate certain areas of the brain to improve self-control in patients. Over half of patients saw an improvement in symptoms that lasted for six months to a year after treatment.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Bulimia Patients
Research indicates that the choice of therapy can make a significant difference in the odds of success for bulimia patients. Traditional psychotherapy appears to be less effective for these patients, while cognitive behavioral therapy, a modality that helps individuals recognize negative thoughts and adjust their behavioral for more positive outcomes, appears to provide better short-term and long-term results.
New Drugs To Treat Bulimia
A number of antidepressant medications have been used to treat individuals with bulimia, with varying degrees of success. Research is now focusing on drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors that help to maintain normal serotonin levels in these patients and help to relieve symptoms.
If you have a problem with anorexia or bulimia, contact the St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute in St. Louis Mo for treatment that will allow you to develop a healthier relationship with food and eating.