4. Distorted body image: If an individual spends considerable amount of time in front of the mirror, tries to cover up the so called “thin” look by wearing oversized clothes or frequently makes disapproving comments like “I’m so fat”, then they may be tipping towards anorexic behaviors. 5. Anxiety: Two out of three adults struggling with eating disorders have been found to have anxiety issues when they were children (Dubansky, 2010). Although anxiety may be most obvious in situations involving food, it can occur in other areas also. 6.
Myoedema or muscle mounding: Anorexics usually exhibit a phenomenon called myoedema or muscle mounding during routine physical examinations (Morgan, Barry & Morgan, 2008). Clinical Interventions Used to Treat Anorexia Anorexia nervosa is typically treated using a multidisciplinary approach that integrates nutritional support, psychological counseling and behavioral modification. The individual may be treated in a residential, partial hospitalization unit, intensive inpatient or outpatient basis depending on the severity of the disorder. However, family involvement has been found to be extremely important in treating this disorder especially when children and adolescents are dealing with this disorder. Inpatient treatment is typically recommended when an adult patient loses 15% or more of their ideal body weight (Harvard Medical School, 2009).
Children and adolescents who are at risk of suffering from irreversible developmental damage due to malnourishment are also recommended inpatient treatment even if they have not reached the 15% weight-loss criteria (Harvard Medical School, 2009). According to Harvard Medical School (2009), following are some of the clinical interventions that are typically used to address anorexia nervosa: Nutrition therapy: Individuals who are severely malnourished because of starvation are first provided support and encouraged to gain weight through a carefully planned nutrition therapy.
To achieve this goal clinicians resort to positive reinforcement techniques like linking privileges to target weights and praising weight gain. The patient is monitored closely to make sure that they eat the food given to them and their body weight is also checked regularly. The clinicians increase the patient’s calorie intake gradually and restrict excessive exercise to promote weight gain. Medication options: Although there is little evidence that medications promote weight gain during the initial phase of treatment, the APA practice guidelines strongly recommend the use of antidepressants to treat depression, anxiety or obsessive thinking in some patients after they have gained weight.
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