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What is ARFID?
Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) was previously known as “selective eating disorder”. The updated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) published in 2013 included ARFID for the first time. ARFID has many similarities to anorexia nervosa, in that both disorders include a person limiting multiple types of food they will eat. The reasons usually revolve around phobias about the textures and appearances of these foods.
A key difference between ARFID and anorexia is that ARFID is not about a person struggling with their weight, a fear of being fat, or having an unrealistic body image. While it’s common for many people to go through phases of being picky eaters, these are usually short-lived and just a part of childhood.
When a man or a woman is diagnosed as having an eating disorder, rather than just being a picky eater, getting help for ARFID becomes necessary. This requires multi-disciplinary avoidant restrictive food intake disorder treatment to help them overcome this eating disorder.
Types of Therapy for ARFID During Treatment
A quality, multi-disciplinary avoidant restrictive food intake disorder treatment program will consist of several therapeutic modalities. This allows the individual to receive a transdiagnostic approach from eating disorder-trained professionals that helps those from a diverse population of backgrounds. Effective types of treatment for ARFID include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT teaches individuals to recognize distorted thinking patterns and gain a better understanding of how their thoughts influence their behaviors. As a result, a man or a woman can learn to problem-solve when faced with challenging emotions or situations and face their fears, rather than defaulting to eating-disordered behaviors.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT is modified from CBT and helps people identify and regulate their emotions. As a result, the individual processes these things in a more realistic manner, rather than reacting in the moment, which often involves using eating disordered behaviors.
Exposure Response Prevention (ERP): ERP involves gradually exposing a person to something that typically triggers their mental health disorder, including eating disorders. ERP can include therapist-supervised outings to restaurants and farmer’s markets to help men and women make peace with fear foods.
Nutrition Counseling: Someone with ARFID often does not understand how compromised this complex eating disorder can make their nutritional intake. Nutrition counseling helps educate the individual about what foods constitute a balanced diet for their age group.
Somatic Psychotherapy: This is a type of holistic therapy that embraces the idea that a person’s mind, body, and spirit all come together to influence their overall health. Somatic psychotherapy teaches people to understand their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs and how they can influence their diet and physical health.
Family Therapy: Family-focused treatment works to help the entire family understand what their loved one is going through and come together as a unit to help them heal. Therapists lead sessions to help achieve unity as a family. Additionally, the family is constantly updated about how their family member is doing while they are in a residential program.
Benefits of an ARFID Treatment Center
A person attending a qualified, professional ARFID treatment center will gain a multitude of benefits. They begin with the individual receiving a medical evaluation that pinpoints any nutritional deficiencies and other medical maladies that have already occurred. This allows medical staff, including doctors and nurses, to plan treatment that includes addressing these conditions, as well as preventing the development of additional ones.
Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder treatment helps men and women understand any causal events that may have contributed to the onset of the eating disorder. This kind of treatment also helps the individual understand the damage eating like this does to the body in terms of both physical and mental health.
Another benefit involves opening up a person’s mind to the idea that they can overcome their restrictive eating habits and phobias about certain foods. This helps combat the idea that their eating disorder proves to be permanent or that it will just pass on its own because it’s merely a phase.
Begin Healing at Our ARFID Treatment Center in Los Angeles
Contact Trellis Recovery Centers in Los Angeles, California to learn about our ARFID treatment center staffed with caring eating disorder-trained professionals ready to help you confront your eating disorder. We understand how complex eating disorders are and the right approach for treating men and women who experience them.
If you would like to speak to staff about arranging care for yourself or a loved one, please contact us now. We are happy to explain our program and answer any questions you have.