An eating disorder occurs when emotions disrupt someone’s regular eating habits and behaviors. Worries about their body image or weight often become all-consuming thoughts, causing many to feel critical of their bodies. An individual struggling with an eating disorder may see restricting food or binging and purging as a form of control. Often, those with eating disorders don’t believe they have a problem — and this denial might remain even as the disorder takes a toll on their physical and mental health.

Do you suspect you or someone you love has an eating disorder? These conditions can become life-threatening or lead to long-term health issues. However, it is possible to recover from an eating disorder with the right guidance. Receiving a diagnosis is the first step on the road to recovery. Eating disorder treatment centers can play a central role in the healing that must take place to treat an eating disorder.

California Psychiatrists Specializing in Eating Disorders

Advanced Psychiatry Associates is a leading eating disorder clinic and recovery center in Northern and Southern California. We assist with a range of conditions, but our eating disorder psychiatrists offer comprehensive psychiatry services to a diverse group of patients who suffer from eating disorders.

With nine full-service mental health clinic locations across the state, we offer our eating disorder treatment program to residents ages 14 and older in the following regions of California:

Common Types of Eating Disorders

There are many types of eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating and unspecified feeding or eating disorder (UFED). The following are the three most common eating disorders we treat at our facilities:

  • Anorexia nervosa: People with anorexia have an overwhelming fear of gaining weight, and they restrict their food intake severely to avoid weight gain. They may have a distorted view of their body. The root emotional problem and desire for control come out in the refusal to eat. People with anorexia often try diet aids such as laxatives to try to lose even more weight.
  • Bulimia nervosa: Those with bulimia nervosa exhibit a cycle of binging and purging, and they have an intense fear of weight gain. A person will consume a large amount of food during the binge, then suffer through guilt and shame after eating. They make themselves throw up, or purge, to eliminate the calories consumed in the binge. They may also use diuretics, laxatives or excessive exercise to lose weight after a binge.
  • Binge eating: People who binge eat consume large quantities of food and feel as though they can’t stop eating, even if they are full. This is more than just overeating at a holiday meal. This pattern includes excessive overeating and often accompanying weight gain. People frequently feel like they can’t control themselves around food.

How to Recognize an Eating Disorder

Eating disorders affect individuals of all ages, genders, races and sexual orientations. They are most often diagnosed in teenagers and young adults, with the most common age of onset being 15 to 25 years old. Women and young girls are particularly susceptible to developing eating disorders.

Eating disorders are also complex, meaning that one person’s symptoms of an eating disorder might present differently than another’s. Sometimes, an individual’s symptoms may not meet DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder. However, that does not mean they are not struggling and need help.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself or a loved one to recognize an eating disorder:

  • Do you have negative thoughts or feelings about your body image that affect your eating habits?
  • Does your weight affect your mood, thoughts or feelings?
  • Are you satisfied with your eating habits?
  • Do you hide eating habits or eat in secret?
  • Has a family member suffered from an eating disorder?

In some cases, a family doctor or other medical professional might be the first to notice signs and recommend treatment or a plan of action.

Types of Treatment for Eating Disorders

After receiving a diagnosis, a therapist or another mental health care professional will recommend the best treatment plan based on the individual’s type of eating disorder and symptoms. An effective treatment plan will address the disorder, its symptoms and any mental or physical health problems caused by the eating disorder.

Common treatments for eating disorders include some or all of the following:

  • Therapy
  • Nutrition education
  • Medication management
  • Hospitalization
  • Day treatment programs

How Long Does It Take to Heal From an Eating Disorder?

An individual’s road to recovery from an eating disorder can take several months or years. Relearning healthy eating habits and coping mechanisms takes time and is often marked by ups and downs. However, several factors can positively influence and expedite one’s healing, including:

  • Understanding and addressing the underlying cause of the eating disorder.
  • Ongoing support from family, friends and various health care professionals.
  • Addressing co-occurring mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Learning healthy stress management and coping skills to prevent relapse.
  • Identifying and mitigating triggers and understanding relapse warning signs.

Professional Treatment for Eating Disorders in California

An eating disorder can disrupt your life and impact your family. If you believe you or a loved one suffers from an eating disorder, setting up an evaluation with an eating disorder therapist can confirm a diagnosis and lead to a path of recovery.

At Advanced Psychiatry Associates, our compassionate team of mental health care professionals works with you or your loved one to create a treatment plan that addresses your care needs and personal goals. Our unique eating disorder treatment program is provided on an outpatient basis. Everyone we serve enjoys the benefits of choosing a facility with a range of abilities. No other facility in California offers the same breadth or depth of anorexia treatment in California. Some of our treatment options include:

You receive many benefits when you choose Advanced Psychiatry Associates as your therapist in California to care for you or a loved one living with an eating disorder. Our practice has been helping people like you for more than 15 years. This one-stop approach makes it easier to coordinate your care or the care received by a loved one. You can consult with a single doctor instead of a network, and you’ll get your lab results quickly.

We also offer flexible payment options, accepting all the major insurance companies. We take Medicare and workers’ compensation, too. Our team of nurses and physicians can write prescriptions to aid with recovery from eating disorders, and our facility is the largest of its kind in the area.

Contact Advanced Psychiatry to Schedule an Appointment

Seeing a psychiatrist for an eating disorder can help you discover the root causes of this emotional issue and deal with the physical symptoms that arise. Getting a diagnosis and proceeding to treatment can help you or your loved one make changes that will lead to a healthier, stronger life.

Get anorexia, bulimia and binge eating treatment throughout California by contacting Advanced Psychiatry Associates. Give us a call at 1 of our locations, schedule an appointment online, or use our chat option, located in the lower-left corner of the page. We are eager to help you.

“I’ve been going here over a year now. I’ve always been treated professionally. Everyone is so nice. My clinicians are courteous and caring. Everyone I’ve dealt with has treated me respectfully while I’ve been learning to deal with my diagnoses. Highly recommend this office!”

- KIM K.