Anorexia Nervosa is a Life-Threatening Disorder Requiring Treatment

Mandel Center of Arizona pic
Mandel Center of Arizona

A member of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals, Alyssa Mandel, LCSW, CEDS, leads The Mandel Center of Arizona. There, Alyssa Mandel treats individuals with eating disorders, like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.

Anorexia nervosa affects 1 percent of the US population, or 1 out of every 100 persons. Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by an obsession with weight and body image. The majority of persons with anorexia are females between the ages of 10 and 20, but men are also affected. Anorexia can be a fatal disease.

Persons with anorexia may refuse to consume a sufficient calorie intake, may exercise continuously to keep a lower body weight, and may refuse to acknowledge the problem or its serious consequences. Risk factors for anorexia include an obsession with body image and appearance, anxiety disorders in childhood, and the harboring of a negative self-image. Anorexia is not limited to the teen years and can occur at any time during one’s life. Treatment should be pursued if anorexia is suspected.


Binge Eating Disorder Has Effective Treatment Available

Binge eating disorder
Binge eating disorder


Alyssa Mandel, LCSW, CEDS, is the founder of The Mandel Center of Arizona, a therapeutic treatment facility that focuses on complete physical, spiritual, and emotional healing for persons diagnosed with eating disorders. Alyssa Mandel has served as both president and vice president-elect of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals.

Binge eating disorder affects from 1 to 3 percent of the US population, usually in the over-25 age group. Binge eating disorder symptoms include episodes of over-eating in which the participant feels like there is no control over the eating behavior and feelings of shame and/or guilt regarding overeating. Persons with binge eating disorder are more likely to be obese because of the large intake of calories. Those with binge eating disorder do not purge or over-exercise, like those with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.

Symptoms of binge eating disorder include eating in private because of the shame associated with overeating, eating quickly in large amounts even if not hungry, and eating to the point of being uncomfortable. Other behaviors include hiding food wrappers, restrictive dieting with obsessive tendencies, and not allowing foods to touch each other on the plate. Binge eating disorder is a life-threatening disease that requires treatment from a therapist.

Study Says Americans Value Mental, Physical Health Equally

Anxiety and Depression Association of America Image:
Anxiety and Depression Association of America


The founder and director of the Mandel Center of Arizona, Alyssa Mandel is an experienced psychotherapist who offers counseling to her clients in a safe and nonjudgmental environment. As part of her ongoing education in the field, Alyssa Mandel belongs to several professional organizations, including the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

A recent survey conducted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans–nearly 90 percent–placed equal value on physical and mental health.

The survey also shows that almost a third of those same Americans have no access to adequate mental health care, and more than 40 percent feel that the expensive costs associated with mental health care are a significant barrier to getting the help they need.

According to survey, a large majority of people understand that depression can be a major contributing factor to suicide, but far fewer realize that related conditions, such as anxiety and other panic disorders, can also play a significant factor in increasing a person’s risk for suicide.

Harris Poll conducted the online survey of more than 2,000 adults in the United States in Fall 2015, with the primary focus being the understanding of Americans about the specifics of mental health care, as well as suicide prevention and awareness.

Becoming Certified For Eating Disorders Treatment Through the IAEDP

International Association of Eating Disorders Professional pic
International Association of Eating Disorders Professional

The director of The Mandel Center of Arizona since 2003, Alyssa Mandel is a licensed social worker with more than 20 years of experience in the field of mental health. Alyssa Mandel serves as president for the Arizona Chapter of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP), through which she maintains certification as an eating disorders specialist.

In addition to offering resources and conferences for professionals who work with people suffering from eating disorders, the IAEDP also provides certification courses through which specialists, registered dietitians, creative arts therapists, and registered nurses can gain expertise and training in the treatment of eating disorders.

Each of the certification exams requires completion of the same four core curriculum courses. These include introduction to eating disorders, treatment modalities for eating disorders, medical aspects of eating disorders, and nutritional aspects of eating disorders.

Through these courses, students receive practical, advanced education necessary for their work with patients with eating disorders, as well as the information required to pass their final certification exam.

Students pursuing certification can complete the core curriculum training either online or by attending the two-day workshop held prior to the IAEDP annual symposium. They must score 70 percent or higher on the multiple-choice exam that concludes each module. Once they have taken the core curriculum courses, students may sit for the certification exam which, when successfully completed, grants a two-year accreditation.

Eating Disorders – Bulimia

Mandel Center of Arizona pic
Mandel Center of Arizona

Alyssa Mandel is the director of the Mandel Center of Arizona, which treats people with eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa. In addition, Alyssa Mandel is a member of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals.

Patients with bulimia nervosa often eat great quantities of food within very short amounts of time then engage in purging. That is to say, they use vomiting or other means to prevent themselves from gaining weight. The bingeing and purging behavior often arises from self-esteem problems linked closely to body image. Bulimia is a serious health problem that may result in the loss of life.

If allowed to progress unchecked, bulimia may harm the body by repeatedly exposing the tissues in the mouth and throat to stomach acids. Frequent vomiting may cause tooth decay, swelling, and even esophageal tears. Moreover, purging behavior may lead to electrolyte imbalances that could, in turn, cause dangerous heart arrhythmias.

Patients may benefit from bulimia support groups, talk therapy, and nutritional therapy. Since bulimia may be associated with depression, patients could benefit from antidepressant medication.

Addiction – Alcohol Abuse

Mandel Center of Arizona pic
Mandel Center of Arizona

A provider of therapeutic resources for people in need of mental health support, Alyssa Mandel works as the CEO and director of the Mandel Center of Arizona. In her leadership role, Alyssa Mandel helps clients with a variety of illnesses, including alcohol dependency.

Individuals who have trouble controlling the amount of alcohol they consume or who continue to consume alcohol despite the disruptive problems it causes may have alcohol use disorder. Usually called alcoholism, the disorder is typified by behavior like binge drinking that gives rise to distress and difficulties participating in daily life.

Advanced alcohol use disorder sometimes involves dependency such that the body goes into withdrawal if the patient stops drinking. Heavy alcohol use can harm essential organs like the brain and liver. If consumed during pregnancy, alcohol can interfere with fetal development.

People struggling with alcohol dependency often improve with treatment. However, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, only a small portion, as low as 8.4 percent, of the people who need professional help get it.

Symptoms of Anorexia and Bulimia

Mandel Center of Arizona pic
Mandel Center of Arizona

Alyssa Mandel has owned and operated the Mandel Center of Arizona in Scottsdale for more than 12 years. In that time, Alyssa Mandel has treated many patients with such eating disorders as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

Although they may present very differently, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa both involve unhealthy and maladaptive behaviors regarding food. Both are approximately 10 times more common in women than in men, and both typically feature increasing worry about weight.

In patients with anorexia, this worry manifests as fastidiously restricted eating. Individuals with this disorder continuously reduce their food intake in an effort to lose weight, even if they have reached a dangerously low weight considering height and age. Preoccupation with weight may also present in the patient with anorexia as fastidious exercise, frequent weight-checking, and hiding the body with loose-fitting clothing.

Patients with bulimia, by contrast, respond to their emotional and mental distress by binge eating. They acquire and consume large quantities of food and eat much more than a normal meal’s worth, most often secretively. The individual with bulimia often feels that he or she cannot control this binge eating, despite the physical discomfort and feelings of shame and depression that follow.

A person with bulimia will typically seek to resolve this discomfort by ridding himself or herself of the vast quantities of food eaten, either by vomiting or through use of a laxative. This process of binging and purging becomes cyclical and compulsive, despite its unpleasant effects on body and mind.