It’s Not How You Look, It’s How You Feel

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All day, every day, you receive the message that being thin is a virtue.

The smaller your waistline, the greater your value as a person.

You want to be the thinnest one in the room.

But you feel it already: slimness is not happiness.

When you live with anorexia nervosa, the mirror you look at every morning does not reflect the real you.

The mirror lies.

You and the mirror collaborate to create an illusion based on your internal emotional state, not on your external physical reality.

The mirror shows your fear and insecurity. It doesn’t show you. It shows what you think about yourself, deep inside. You think you aren’t skinny enough, so that’s what you see: someone who’s not thin enough.

And you believe what you see.

You believe it because at some point you got off track. You stopped believing in yourself. You started comparing yourself with images from social media, entertainment, and advertising.

When you compare, you despair.

Despair leads you to a place where what you think and see do not match what is. Your disordered eating becomes a mental illness fueled by painful emotions. You develop coping mechanisms that help you numb those emotions – but those coping mechanisms are not sustainable, because they deprive you of the true sustenance you need to live and thrive.

You eat less and less. You hurt more and more. Which causes you to eat even less, which causes you to hurt even more.

Now here you are. Stuck in a cycle you want to escape. You feel alone. Trapped by your own habits, behavior, and emotions.

You need help finding the way back to the real you.

At Backcountry Wellness, we know the way – and we’re honored to be your guide.

Anorexia Nervosa: Signs and Symptoms

No two eating disorders look exactly alike, because eating disorders are more about the person with the disorder than how they appear to people who observe them from the outside. However, all eating disorder share similar characteristics. Beneath them is a desperate need for control. People with eating disorders seek control through food. This maladaptive drive to be thin – above all else – reveals itself in a variety of behavioral, emotional, and physical signs and symptoms.

Behavioral and emotional symptoms of anorexia nervosa include, but are not limited to:

  • Extreme preoccupation with thinness
  • Intense focus on weight loss and dieting
  • Overwhelming need to look and feel skinny
  • Denying hunger
  • Skipping meals
  • Fear of gaining weight
  • Lying about eating
  • Aversion to eating in front of others
  • Constant weighing
  • Constant measuring (wrist/upper arm)
  • Restricting food intake
  • Excessive exercise
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability

Physical signs and symptoms of anorexia nervosa include, but re not limited to:

  • Extreme thinness
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Muscular weakness
  • Very low weight (adolescents and children)
  • Bluish fingers
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Yellowish skin
  • Abnormal or absent menstruation
  • Thin, dry hair (may fall out)
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Presence of fine, downy hair on body
  • Abnormal lab results
  • Fatigue
  • Sudden weight loss

Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa

Evidence shows the most effective treatment for anorexia addresses the biological, psychological, and social factors at play for each patient. This integrated treatment model incorporates individual therapy with family therapy, group therapy, and complementary supports such as yoga, mindful meditation, and other somatic or expressive therapies.

The integrated treatment model works. It works best when a treatment center has ample time, experienced clinicians, abundant resources, and a staff-patient ratio that facilitates a comprehensive, patient-centered, family-oriented implementation of each customized treatment plan.

Not every treatment center has all that.

At Backcountry Wellness, we have all that – and more. Customization is our calling card. Elite-level service is our ethos. Superior quality is our defining characteristic. Treatment begins with a full, deliberate, and careful biopsychosocial evaluation. We pace our treatment. We take the time to get things right. Patients meet their therapists, counselors, nutritionists, yoga teachers, and meditation coaches in a warm, open, stress-free environment. We ask our clinicians to give of themselves every day, and we ask our patients to be themselves every day. Together, they establish resilient, durable relationships that lead to the kind of open, honest communication that fosters growth and change.

That’s how we create a successful treatment plan for a child or adolescent living with anorexia nervosa: through this evidence-based, humanistic approach based on mutual trust and grounded in support, empathy, and understanding.

We watch and learn. We follow your lead.

What sets our programs apart is that we know more: we get to know the person behind the patient or diagnosis.

We get to know you.

Once we know you – we’ve got you covered.