Women's Health     Teen Health     Health Guide    

The unseen mental health effects of the pandemic



Eating disorders are on the rise and treatment can help

The unseen mental health effects of the pandemic


Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, increases in mental health issues have been widely documented. While diagnoses like anxiety and depression are more common, other problems, such as eating disorders, have not been discussed as frequently.

Eating disorders have also increased in the past two years and can be life threatening, especially if left untreated. Today there are more treatment options available and more access to care for those who need help.

“Eating disorders are on the rise, and medical science is advancing in this area to continually improve treatment outcomes,” said Dr. Margherita Mascolo, chief medical officer at Alsana, a leading eating recovery community and treatment provider. “Our patients consistently report a decrease in eating disorder symptoms after treatment, and just as importantly, our survey data shows they also report a much better quality of life post-treatment. This data is very encouraging for patients and their families.”

READ MORE: Mental Health help is just a phone call away

Eating disorders affect people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, races and socioeconomic statuses. An estimated 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States have an eating disorder, and by 2030, there will be a 5% increase in the number of people with eating disorders, according to the Academy for Eating Disorders. 

One of the challenges in treating eating disorders is finding treatment options and models of care that work with individual needs and schedules. For example, college athletes, young mothers and women with careers all have distinctly different lifestyles, so a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment is impractical and unlikely to succeed.

One potential solution is an approach that treats the whole person, such as The Adaptive Care Model at Alsana, which meets clients where they are in recovery. This holistic approach strives to create an inspiring healing experience that focuses on the patient’s total health. Creating a compassionate community of care is key to this treatment model. The program is based on five core areas:

Medical Treatment

Someone working to overcome an eating disorder must build health resilience and establish a physical foundation for recovery. A collaborative and compassionate approach allows for your medical issues to be monitored and addressed by specialty-trained physicians. The medical dimension seeks to empower you by educating you on the organic causes of your symptoms and how to overcome them.

Relational

Exploring and growing your own sense of purpose and self-expression can empower you to connect on a deeper level with yourself, others and your sense of purpose or true calling. This means rediscovering your true self, feeling confident in expressing your potential and working toward your goals. Instilling hope, inspiration and motivation along your healing journey can provide you with the tools and knowledge to thrive long after completing treatment so you have a positive outlook for the future.

READ MORE: Simple tips for mindful eating

Nutrition

Proper nutrition plays an important role in recovery, as you must learn to balance nourishment and pleasure on a physical and emotional level to restore a nurturing relationship between food and your body. Guidance and exposure to balanced food choices and real-life eating experiences helps build confidence and promotes enjoyment of meal experiences, not just the food itself.

Movement

Physical activity can be healing for both the mind and body. Listening and responding to the body creates a strong foundation of body awareness. Movement is an avenue toward achieving optimal health, but it’s also a way to learn to appreciate and connect with your body on a deeper level.

Therapeutic

Through therapy, you can work to heal from trauma, negative feelings, fears, and challenges that may be standing in the way of recovery. Practices that treat the person (not the disorder) can prove effective.

No treatment plan is one-size-fits all, and finding the right care is essential to recovery.  

“Focusing on the patient’s total health is an innovative treatment model that is proving effective,” Mascolo said. “Our caregivers provide personalized care, compassion and support to complement the medical, nutritional and psychological therapies in a holistic treatment model.”

Find more information about eating disorders and available treatments at alsana.com.

How to Identify an Eating Disorder

The first step in effective treatment is identifying a problem. Discussing the answers to these questions with your doctor may help you pinpoint an eating disorder and get you on the path toward recovery. Take the survey to find out if you may have an eating disorder at alsana.com/survey.

  1. Do you attempt to restrict calories or foods?

  2. Do you make yourself sick because you feel uncomfortably full?

  3. Do you worry you have lost control over how much you eat?

  4. Have you recently lost more than one stone in a three-month period?

  5. Do you believe yourself to be “fat” when others say you are too thin?

  6. Would you say food dominates your life?

(Family Features) 

Photos courtesy of Getty Images



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Safety tips to follow when using gas or charcoal grills

    Following safety procedures when grilling can reduce injury and save lives

    Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer for many New Yorkers, and with it, the start of the grilling season. As New Yorkers get ready to fire up their grills this Memorial Day weekend, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) reminds consumers to consider some important safety tips for safe summer barbecues. read more »
  • Tips to help avoid moving scams

    Be aware of deceptive business practices

    For this week’s “Tuesday’s Tips,” the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection provides consumers with important tips to avoid scams when moving. Moving your belongings can be a stressful process, and unfortunately scammers use these situations to defraud consumers out of thousands of dollars by using deceptive business practices. read more »
  • 4 things parents and youth athletes should know about concussions

    Every person and every concussion is different

    Despite the attention drawn to the topic of concussions over the past decade, it can be difficult to find readily available answers about what parents and young athletes should do after sustaining a concussion. read more »
  • How to keep feet and ankles in tip top shape this summer

    Experts offer tips for you and your family

    Summer fun and chores alike come with potential hazards to feet. According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, here’s how to protect feet and ankles from the most common seasonal hazards. read more »
  • Confused by nutrition labels? You’re not alone

    How to read the packaging on your groceries

    Shopping for groceries can be like navigating a maze: so many choices in every aisle, food packages covered in marketing claims, and little direction on what is truly healthy and what isn’t. People want to make healthy choices for themselves and their families, but how can they when the information available to them can be so overwhelming? read more »
  • Thoughtful gift ideas for Mother's Day

    Make your mom smile on her special day

    To show your mom just how much she means to you, choose a Mother’s Day gift that reflects her interests and passions. As you’re looking for the perfect gift, consider these thoughtful ideas that will touch her heart. read more »
  • How high-speed internet can help spark community vitality

    Let's get internet everywhere

    Most Americans consider high-speed internet an essential household service. Yet in rural America, an estimated 25% of the population doesn’t have broadband access, limiting their economic growth and access to career opportunities and resources such as education and health care. read more »
  • Girls on the Run launches new curriculum

    Meeting the needs of today's girls

    Girls on the Run International (GOTRI), a nationally recognized nonprofit that empowers young girls, has launched its new research-based curriculum intentionally designed to meet the needs of today's girls. Entitled Hello, Superstar!, the innovative curriculum helps girls build the confidence to be themselves through meaningful and engaging lessons and activities that keep them moving. read more »
  • From awareness to action: Learning.com's commitment to supporting healthy relationships with technology for kids

    Learning.com shares resources aimed at creating positive digital experiences for children

    As the world observes Mental Health Awareness Month this May, Learning.com, a leading provider of digital literacy solutions, is taking proactive steps to address a pressing issue: the need for young learners to develop healthy relationships with technology. Recognizing that banning technology isn't the solution, Learning.com is engaging educators and parents in the conversation and providing free tools and resources during the month of May aimed at supporting the creation of positive digital experiences for children. Through an informative webinar with experts in the field on May 21, Learning.com will foster discussions that aim to help students build healthy relationships with technology. read more »
  • 4 trends showing mental health is a continued challenge for Americans

    People with outward appearances of success, productivity and happiness often still deal with internal struggles. Mental health challenges continue to affect Americans, with nearly 3 of 4 (73%) U.S. adults reporting struggles with mental health in 2023. read more »