Anorexia Nervosa is a Life-Threatening Disorder Requiring Treatment

Mandel Center of Arizona pic
Mandel Center of Arizona
Image: mandelcenter.com

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.

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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: en.wikipedia.org
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Image: en.wikipedia.org

 

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.

Eating Disorders – Bulimia

Mandel Center of Arizona pic
Mandel Center of Arizona
Image: mandelcenter.com

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
Image: mandelcenter.com

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.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy – An Introduction

Dialectical behavior therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy

 

Alyssa Mandel serves as CEO and director of the Mandel Center of Arizona, where she develops individualized psychotherapeutic treatment plans to meet each client’s unique needs. Alyssa Mandel draws on elements of various methodologies, including dialectical behavior therapy.

Dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, uses mindfulness techniques and related skill sets to help clients cope with intense emotions. The therapy arose as an intervention for borderline personality disorder, which often causes extreme and quick emotional changes. Because individuals with this disorder have not yet developed the skills necessary to respond adaptively to such changes, they are often inclined to react in charged and possibly inappropriate ways.

DBT helps individuals both with and without borderline personality disorder to de-escalate heightened emotions and respond with more adaptive pro-social behaviors. Using individual therapy, group training, and phone coaching, each client learns and practices actionable skills that strengthen his or her social-emotional competence. By the time a client has completed the course of therapy, his or her skills span the categories of mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and emotion regulation.

Warning Signs of Anorexia

Mandel Center of Arizona pic
Mandel Center of Arizona
Image: mandelcenter.com

Alyssa Mandel is a master of social work graduate of Columbia University and the founder of the Mandel Center of Arizona in Scottsdale. In her practice, Alyssa Mandel collaborates with psychiatrists, social workers, and nutritionists, to provide the highest level of comprehensive care for clients.

Individuals with anorexia often are adept at hiding their eating habits. With that in mind, here are some warning signs to watch for if you believe someone close to you may have the disease.

Early warning signs typically manifest themselves as an unhealthy preoccupation with food intake and/or obsessive dieting. This preoccupation with food and its relationship to body image will eventually morph into disordered eating patterns. Consistently skipping meals, denying hunger after long periods of not eating, obsession with body image, and making excuses for lack of eating are all early warning signs.

In the more advanced stages, individuals typically tend to push themselves to excessive and unhealthy levels of exercise and weight themselves constantly. Obsessively checking the mirror and complaining about weight are other signs that tend to manifest themselves, as well as decreased and/or flat moods, displaying a lack of emotional response to the world around them.

Left untreated, anorexia can be a life-threatening condition, even if the individual is not dramatically underweight. The behavior can bring about abnormal heart function and electrolyte imbalances that can eventually cause significant heart complications.