2.7 percent of people will develop an eating disorder in their lifetime, and over a third of them are male. Anorexia most infamous of the eating disorders, has the highest death rate of any mental illness with 5-20% of sufferers eventually dying from it (WebMD). This shocking statistic is just one of the reasons why eating disorder treatment, as early as possible, is so crucial.
On June 3rd a new Outpatient Center devoted to the treatment of eating disorders, opened in Greenwich. I was lucky enough to visit the “Center for Discovery” on it’s second day. The Center offers 20 hours, per week, of treatment for those suffering with eating disorders. I met with Dawn Delgado, who has come from the Center for Discovery headquarters in California to oversee the opening. Dawn showed me around the center and we talked about the assessment and therapy process.
As a Developmental Pediatrician in the UK, I loved the multi-disciplinary approach for care and was pleased to see it in action at the Center. Dawn told me that Outpatient treatment typically lasts 3 months plus, and begins intensively with a 20 hour, 5 day a week program, of assessment and treatment. Dawn and I discussed the importance of early detection and treatment, which has been shown to dramatically improve outcomes.
Red Flags of an Eating Disorder
Eating disorders are complex and can present with a variety of physical and emotional symptoms, the most common of which are:
- rapid weight fluctuation
- menstrual irregularities
- self-induced vomiting
- hair loss
- sleeping difficulties
- dizzy spells, fainting or blackouts
- always feels cold
- fine (down-like) hair on body
- swollen, puffy cheeks
- compulsive exercising
- binge eating
- guilt after eating
- constantly comparing size/ weight to others
(Source: Center for Discovery)
The Center for Discovery will be involved in preventative programs in the community and education of other health professionals, such as dentists, who are often the first to notice signs of an eating disorder. They also have a very useful app, to aid the recovery process “Discovery in Recovery on the Go!”
If you are concerned that you or a loved one might have an eating disorder, I urge you to visit www.
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