Anorexia Nervosa

Sufferers of anorexia display an obsession with losing weight and being thin, have a distorted body image and have a phobia of gaining weight. This can make it difficult to get them to accept help and start a healthy eating plan, so professional help is often needed. Asana Lodge offer personalised anorexia nervosa treatment, which is a combination of individual, group and family therapy, as well as holistic treatments. This allows sufferers to identify what triggers their negative behaviour, and gives them the tools they need to get better.

Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa

There’s a number of signs and symptoms of anorexia, and here are some things to look out for:

  •  A large weight loss in a short period
  •  Being underweight and scared of weight gain
  •  Obsessive counting of calories and restricting food and drink
  •  Excessive exercise
  •  Distorted body image – the sufferer believes they need to lose weight when they don’t
  •  Obsession with appearance
  •  Obsession with your body weight, repeatedly weighing yourself
  •  Feeling guilty and stressed when eating
  •  Purging – usually through vomiting or taking laxatives
  •  Physical symptoms such as dizziness and tiredness
  •  Mental health issues such as depression or anxiety

There are many factors that can make you more likely to develop anorexia. Women and girls have higher incidences of anorexia, although it’s coming more common in men, and if there are people with eating disorders in your family then studies show you’re more likely to develop one too. Those with conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder are more likely to need anorexia nervosa treatment, and it can often be found in those with low self-esteem. Anorexia can sometimes be triggered by a big life event such as bereavement, abuse or stress, and finding the root cause can be an important first step towards treatment.

Undergoing Anorexia Nervosa Treatment

There’s no single treatment that can treat anorexia, for most people a combination of therapy types and a supportive environment is needed to tackle the condition. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, is often used to help to identify the negative patterns that cause eating disorders, giving the sufferer a set of tools to overcome them. Therapy involves overcoming irrational beliefs about body image and food, which is an important step in anorexia nervosa treatment.

In addition to talking therapy, there are a number of other steps that can be taken to help with eating disorders. Because we create a personalised treatment plan for each client, this will be based on the length and severity of your condition, as well as any other diagnoses you may have received. This could include advice from a dietician, supported meals to help you eat, and workshops on body image or food exposure, which can help you change your eating habits.

Some sufferers of anorexia who come to us for treatment have a dual diagnosis, which means they may also need help with another issue in addition to their eating disorder. It’s quite common for those undergoing anorexia nervosa treatment to also have poor mental health or develop addictions, so there will be specific treatment offered to target these issues too.

A Relaxing Retreat

Asana Lodge is an excellent place to start recovery for an eating disorder as it provides a relaxing retreat away from the world. We are based in Towcester, surrounded by the Northamptonshire countryside, so there’s a peaceful atmosphere. Some people worry that their anorexia nervosa treatment will feel like being in hospital, but you can be assured that the environment is as far as possible from a clinic. There are comfortable, private rooms where you can get plenty of rest, nutritious food that is specially prepared for those undergoing treatment for anorexia, and facilities where clients can exercise and improve their physical health.

Your time at Asana Lodge isn’t just spent in therapy. There are options such as yoga and holistic therapy, walks in the countryside and activities to enjoy. We also run regular group therapy in our comfortable communal areas, giving you a chance to speak to other people with eating disorders and share the journey.

Recovery From Anorexia

With the right treatment, it’s possible to make a full recovery from anorexia and maintain a healthy weight for life. While it can be difficult to develop a healthy relationship with food, our programmes offer intensive therapy and support, and if you are committed to change, it really can work. Because we understand that anorexia can affect the whole family, we offer couples or family therapy as part of our programmes, which helps mend difficult relationships and helps loved ones understand the condition. Unfortunately, there are always cases where sufferers can relapse, so we offer excellent aftercare, whether it’s ongoing therapy or a local support group, which can help you stay on track.

Seeking Help

It’s often difficult to get someone with anorexia nervosa into treatment, as they often have severe body image issues and don’t see anything wrong with their behaviour. That’s why, when they do agree to treatment, the last thing you want is a long delay. Asana Lodge can help with an intervention to encourage the sufferer to seek help, and can make all the arrangements such as travel, meaning your loved one could be in treatment in a matter of hours.

If you suspect you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder such as anorexia, call the team at Asana Lodge on 01908 489 421 or e-mail to find out more about the treatments we offer.