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… is Worth a Pound of Cure as Mr Franklin once wrote. And certainly, within treating EDs, the earlier the diagnosis and treatment-management begin, the better the chances for prevention and staving off serious health complications.
As many of us who have had our budding adolescents suddenly taken in by the ravages of an Eating Disorder right about the time new thresholds of independence and growth were to begin, we can attest that getting as much support, education and care immediately when noticing signs of of an ED, or any other behavior that a parent or caregiver just ‘know’ isn’t quite right is absolutely vital, and in some serious cases, can save a loved ones life.
Thankfully the American Academy of Pediatrics is taking equal measures and strongly advising recommended ED screening for pre-teen and adolescents as part of annual check-ups and for participation in athletic activities in a newly released report.
This is great news. And recollecting back to when our then 12-13yr old daughter was initially diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa, I am continually grateful that we were able to get the initial support and assistance through our pediatrician. -Merci

Happiest Makara Sankranthi!

Our time on this Earth is sacred

and we should celebrate every moment.

-Paulo Coelho

 

It’s uplifting to see the continuation and commitment towards treating and caring for those suffering with eating disorders, along with supporting and educating the families involved in their loved ones care.

Harmony Place licensed by the state office of Mental Health is the first residential program in the state of New York to open and work specifically with adolescent girls and boys ages 12-17 providing an additional resource for families vs sending their children out of state:

Harmony Place at St. Joseph’s Villa is the first program in New York State to provide residential treatment exclusively for adolescents struggling with eating disorders. Located on the suburban St. Joseph’s Villa campus in Rochester, N.Y.,
 
Harmony Place provides treatment and support for up to eight girls and boys, ages 12 to 17, who have had chronic difficulty maintaining recovery through medical inpatient and outpatient programs.

During the 4-6 week stay, a highly structured environment, evidence-based approaches and a caring, specialized staff help partici¬pants regain stability over their illness. Family involvement is a critical component of the program, empowering parents with the skills and understanding needed to help their teen achieve long-term recovery at home.

HARMONY PLACE program features:

-Round-the-clock supervision, with daily medical monitoring

-Safe, structured, therapeutic environment designed for adolescents

-Licensed nurses, board-certified psychiatrists, psychologists, masters-level therapists and dieticians
-Utilizes the Maudsley-Informed approach to re-feeding, on-site emphasizing family therapy, education and hands-on meal preparation

-20 + hours mandatory group therapy and 8+ hours individual & family therapy weekly

-Ability to address co-occurring disorders like chemical dependency, anxiety and depression

-Two-hours academic tutoring per school day
-Three months support following discharge


Post discharge there is a 90day follow up so that patients and families have the proper support they need to help within the transition.

For further information please contact Helena Boersma at St Joseph’s Villa      1.877.520.2667       

Bulimia Study

 

When caring for an adolescent suffering with an eating disorder for any length of time, you soon realize how invaluable earlier diagnosis and treatment become in making purposeful and healthy strides forward, as well as any necessary changes and re-strategizing needed to better support a loved ones recovery process.

And while there is a better knowledge base available regarding eating disorders today, studies and research of “what works” and “what doesn’t” in the real day to day of those living with this illness, and how to better train, educate and provide for those treatment services are still slowly surfacing.

Dr James Lock, whom many a parent are familiar with from his work and book: Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder is spearheading one of the Largest-Ever Bulimia Study  involving adolescents suffering from bulimia through Stanford University:

…psychiatrists at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of Chicago are seeking volunteers for the largest-ever randomized controlled trial of bulimia treatments for adolescents.

Only two small randomized trials have previously been done in this age group. “We desperately need more information,” said James Lock, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford and the study’s senior investigator. Lock is also director of psychiatric services at the Comprehensive Eating Disorders Program at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

Prior bulimia-treatment trials focused on adult patients, Lock said, which is why the National Institute of Mental Health awarded his team a five-year, $2 million grant to compare bulimia treatments for young people. Full-blown bulimia affects 1 to 2 percent of adolescents, and another 2 to 3 percent display significant bulimic behaviors, Lock noted. Female patients outnumber males by five to one, he said.

The team will study three treatments that may help adolescent bulimics. Study subjects will be randomly assigned to receive 20 outpatient consultations using cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy or individual psychotherapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is widely recognized as the preferred bulimia treatment for adults, whereas family therapy is used in teens with anorexia nervosa. Individual psychotherapy has succeeded as an alternate treatment for bulimic adults and adolescents.

Interested individuals should contact research assistant Brittany Alvy at (650) 723-9182.

The pathology Lock hopes to heal stems from poor body image and an unhealthy focus on rigid dieting. Strict dieting sets up patients for lapses of control—binge-eating episodes. After binge eating on thousands of calories, patients purge with vomiting, laxatives or excessive exercise. They then feel guilty over their loss of control, fueling further negative thoughts and deepening the downward spiral.

Cognitive behavioral therapy works on changing patients’ behaviors and thinking patterns related to food and to body image. The therapist aims to help the patient stop thoughts that overemphasize the importance of weight and shape and end severe, destructive dieting. Family therapy focuses solely on eating behaviors.

The patient’s parents are involved in every therapy session, and the underlying goal is to change the home environment so that it reinforces healthy eating and discourages dieting. “In this treatment, we see parents as a resource to facilitate behavioral change,” Lock said. Individualized psychotherapy, rather than targeting eating, examines underlying life problems that contribute to negative self-image. 

“We hope early intervention will become a chronic, long-lasting strategy,” Lock said. Instead of treating bulimia in adulthood, “after the horse is out of the barn,” early treatment has a better shot at causing a lasting cure, he added.

About Stanford University Medical Center Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions — Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. For more information, please visit the Web site of the medical center’s Office of Communication & Public Affairs at http://mednews.stanford.edu/.

About Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Ranked as one of the best pediatric hospitals in the nation by U.S.News & World Report and Child magazine, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford is a 272-bed hospital devoted to the care of children and expectant mothers. Providing pediatric and obstetric medical and surgical services and associated with the Stanford University School of Medicine, Packard Children’s offers patients locally, regionally and nationally the full range of health care programs and services — from preventive and routine care to the diagnosis and treatment of serious illness and injury. For more information, visit http://www.lpch.org/.

Sarah Stevens (center) and siblings-StarTimes

I love reading authentic stories about hard-won recovery work unadulterated by a gamut of other voices and agendas. And when it’s coupled with a genuine spirit and determined passion to make a difference in the eating disorder community you can’t help but be touched and feel gratitude toward those who have not only triumphed over an eating disorder but are determined to implement change.

So while in the midst of carving the last finishing touches upon our collected Jack-O-Lantern harvest and waiting to roast the seeds, allow Sarah Stevens’s story to inspire (you can also sponsor her ‘Walk’ scheduled in November: beautifulstars@hotmail.co.uk or sponsor by phone: (09)426-4844)and cast the goblins away this Halloween Day!

Happy Samhain to my Earth-centered friends!

 

As many of us already know recovering from an eating disorder takes time, patience, perseverance and an added sense of humor never hurts either. This journey of Hope, Change and Healing can be a long road, but well worth every step! And when a sufferer is not able to obtain the adequate and experienced care that is required for ED treatment this journey can seem like climbing the Himalayas.

Families and sufferers can have a voice and advocate for the care and support they deserve, but it takes some persistence and not taking “no” for an answer but digging deeper and rooting out the resources and connections one needs to help along this road.

One courageous and honorable teen diagnosed with anorexia has taken such a step in Northern Ireland, and is demanding change all the way to the courts to get the care she needs- bravo!

With fire-in-the-heart like that, the sky is the limit to what can be possible so that everyone suffering from this illness will eventually have access and covered care that they need to fight the battle and win their full and healthy lives back.

-shanti

End Health Discrimination
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