Posted by: Ask Arden | April 24, 2010

Eating Disorders Resources and Referrals

I am presenting a mini workshop Wednesday on April 28, 2010 on Eating Disorders at the 4th Annual Rockland County School Symposium sponsored by the Rockland County School Health and Wellness Coalition called “CONNECTING Health with Learning” at Rockland Country Day School. The theme is learning how eating disorders and bone health are related for lifelong health and wellbeing.

An unfortunate side effect of having an eating disorder such as anorexia and bulimia, can be the development of osteopenia or far worse, osteoporosis. These two conditions are directly attributed to poor nutrition, underweight, the absence of a period with a person suffering from anorexia, and purging. Muscle mass starts to diminish leaving the bones more vulnerable and one can visually see on X-Rays, MRI’s etc., an actual thinning of the bone itself with small holes. Thus one becomes more vulnerable for bone loss, bone breakage, and fractures. I am sure you have seen some photos of females that have a bone structure that resembles that of an 80 year old woman. Overtime, if the eating disorder is unchecked or if progress is severely slow, there is a slow and steady deterioration.

Having worked with patients such as this is very sad indeed. So today I am going to offer you some hope and that is if help is gotten and our eating disordered patient is willing to do the nutritional and emotional work than she/he will create for themselves an opportunity to get back on their road of health and wellness. Aside from having a regimen of calcium rich healthy foods, sufficient calorie content, supplements and vitamins old self-destructive behavior needs to be challenged such as purging and restricting.

The patient population that I have worked with adolescents, young adults, menopausal women and athletes have improved significantly.

Those that have made little or no progress have spent a life time in a revolving door of hospitalizations. They get a bit better than slip back. Underlying any eating disorder is low self worth and body esteem. Body dysmorphia, a self critical evaluation of the body and it’s parts, is sadly pervasive. Seeing the body larger than what it is, self and body hate and wishing she/he looked liked someone else is the norm. The focus is on helping the patient to re-claim herself to love and like every aspect of herself and body. To see herself as a beautiful statue and embrace all her lumps and bumps. To see herself less distorted and realize, for an anorexic, that she/he is emaciated, sickly and wasting away. All of this is done with the warmth and grace of a therapist who unconditonally tries to role model self and body acceptance and love towards her patient.

Major work with an outpatient therapist who is an eating disorder specialist who works in a supportive, cognitive, psychodynamic educative approach is a helpful direction. As I said the work involves helping the patient to love, like and accept herself and body. The addition of supplements, antidepressants, an anxiety medication needs to be evaluated for each individual patient. Inpatient hospitalization for those that are chronically underweight and violently purging sometimes is the only alternative.

The following are some resources in New York for Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment as well. I will indicate (I) for inpatient (O) for outpatient and may indicate (I)&(O) if the facility offers both. I will provide some Web sites as well.

In New York:
The Eating Disorder Clinic of the NYS Psychiatric Institute(Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center) 723 W 168th street (O)&(I)
The Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia(CSAB)connected to Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy 1 W. 91st Street 212-595-3449 (O) and training in ED-sliding scale
Gracie Square Hospital Eating Disorder Program 420 E. 76th St. 212-222-2832 (I)&(O)
Dept of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine
Montefiore Medical Center 111 E. 210th St. Bronx 212-920-6612 (I)
American Anorexia/Bulimia Associaton Westchester Extension Group:
White Plains Hospital and Medical Center White Plains, N.Y. (I)&(O)
Eating Disorder Program @ St. Vincents Hospital Harrison, N.Y. (I)
Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa Treatment Program @ Cornell Medical Center New York Hospital, Westchester Division(I)
21 Bloomingdale Rd. White Plains, N.Y.
AABA American Anorexia/Bulimia Association 418 E. 76th St Newsletter
NEDA(www.neda.com) Educational videos, referrals, additional web, educational workshops, conferences, support groups
IEADEP Educational conferences for professionals and lay public

New Jersey:
Renfrew Center Ridgewood N.J. (O), other locations, Coconut Creek, Florida and Philadelphia,Pennsylvania
Koch Center for Eating Disorders (O)Hohocus, N.J.
Carrier Foundation Eating Disorders Program-Jersey Shore(I)&(O)
Princeton Hospital Eating Disorder Program Princeton, N.J. (O)&(I)

Laurette Hospital New Orleans (O)&(I)
Rosewood Hospital in Arizona (O)&(I)
Remuda Ranch in Arizona Mileu setting dude ranch, group setup (I)

Remember there are no quick fixes, it’s a long an arduous journey from darkness to light, but so worth it.

Blessings from askarden

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