What is an Eating Disorder?

Learn how HPA/LiveWell successfully treats eating disorders.

Eating disorders include a range of conditions, which are typically characterized by unhealthy and even life-threatening obsessions and fears related to food, physical appearance and weight. Often developed as a mechanism for coping and gaining control, eating disorders are characterized by extreme disturbances in eating behavior.

While specifics of acute eating disorders vary, they share one common element: the sufferer has reached a point at which he or she can no longer control the behavior related to the disorder.

If you or a loved one has an eating disorder, our LiveWell program may be the answer for you.

Located in Albany, New York, HPA/LiveWell uses the most current therapeutic approaches – and results-oriented techniques – to treat eating disorders. Each treatment is as individual as each patient.

Through our LiveWell program, we treat women, men, and adolescents suffering from eating disorders. Our LiveWell program provides individual, family and group therapy, as well as nutritional counselling and intensive outpatient treatment.

Here are 3 key reasons why our LiveWell program for eating disorders might be the right fit for you:

  1. Our highly trained and highly skilled staff members include recognized researchers in the field – and we are results-oriented.
  2. We believe in treating patients with eating disorders where they live. Our outpatient program enables you to live at home, stay involved in your work or school, maintain your routine and maintain relationships that are vital to your successful treatment.
  3. Our office has a warm, welcoming atmosphere that many of our patients come to think of as their “safe place.”

We treat patients with these eating disorders:

What are the common causes of eating disorders?

In addition to asking “what is an eating disorder?” it’s important to know what causes an eating disorder. While no one can pinpoint causes definitively, there is a complex range of factors that may lead to eating disorders. Some of these factors include:

  • Genetics – The fact that people with family members with an eating disorder are more likely to develop an eating disorder suggests there may be a genetic link.
  • Emotional health – Emotional problems such as low self-esteem, impulsive behavior and problematic relationships may contribute to eating disorders.
  • Societal pressures – Our contemporary Western ideal of success and self-worth is often equated with being thin. The media and peer pressure perpetuate this ideal.

Certain situations and events might increase the risk of developing an eating disorder. These risk factors may include:

  • Gender – Teenage girls and young women are more at risk of developing an eating disorder than boys or men.
  • Other disorders – Mental illnesses such as anxiety disorder, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder increase the risk of an eating disorder.
  • Dieting – People who are concerned about their weight and appearance may be at a higher risk.

How do you recognize signs and symptoms of an eating disorder?

To further understand the question, “what is an eating disorder,” our patients (and their family members) often need clarification on the signs and symptoms. An eating disorder is characterized by disrupted eating behaviors that may include:

  • Eating too much
  • Eating too little
  • Purging
  • Obsession with exercise
  • Obsession with food and weight
  • Concerns about body image

According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, eating disorders affect approximately 1 in 5 people in the U.S., including people of all ages and genders. Eating disorders can devastate physical and mental health, disrupt personal relationships and, when they occur at a young age, they can impair growth and development. If eating disorders go untreated, they can cause fatal medical complications.

How do we treat eating disorders?

People who suffer from eating disorders need treatment. Surprisingly, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses. This disease is more dangerous than major depression and schizophrenia!

By the time family and friends notice adverse behaviors surrounding eating, it’s often too late to correct this disease without medical intervention. Once unhealthy routines and behaviors have been recognized, the person needs immediate professional attention.

Because eating disorders involve a complex combination of physical, mental and emotional symptoms, it’s vital that you choose a treatment program designed and run by health professionals who recognize that each patient needs an individualized intervention that will address all these needs.

At HPA/LiveWell, we provide the knowledge, tools and support to manage your eating disorder and get results.

If you’re asking “what is an eating disorder?” please know that our LiveWell program uses the most current therapeutic techniques to treat eating disorders. Each treatment is as individual as each patient.

Our Treatment Programs Get Results

To learn more, call to speak with a Case Manager today.

Begin Your Recovery

Call HPA/LiveWell in Albany, NY

What is Anorexia?

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What is Bulimia?

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What is Binge Eating?

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