Stages of Eating Disorders

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Stages of Eating Disorders

Eating disorders follow a predictable course from mild and appearing to be “healthy” to death. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental health concerns. Even when eating disorders don’t result in fatalities the damage they do to the body is often irreversible.

Early Stage

In the early stage of an eating disorder a person is developing a negative body image; is dissatisfied with their appearance; is beginning to feel shame and disgust about themselves. At this stage a person is at high risk of developing a full blown eating disorder and may already be experimenting with restricting, purging, or binging behaviors. This is the best time to intervene and get help; especially for adolescents and pre-adolescent children.

Mid Stage

In the mid-stage a person is actively and regularly restricting, purging, binging, and/or excessively exercising. They have begun to experience a considerable change in body weight and may or may not be at a healthy weight range. At this point one is usually not aware of or is in denial of the negative affect their behaviors are having on their body.

Late Stage

Those struggling in the late stages of an eating disorder are at serious health risks, possibly even death. At especially high risk are type 1 diabetics who may be manipulating their insulin to control their weight. At this stage medical treatment is critical and inpatient/ residential treatment may be necessary. The Relationship Center coordinates services with Remuda Ranch, the premier Christian eating disorder inpatient treatment center in the world, and other treatment programs, to get patients the urgent help they need. We also continue care following release from an inpatient program, to ensure successful long-term recovery.

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