Psychiatry and Psychological Services: Eating Disorders
The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders states that approximately eight million people in the United States have anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or related eating disorders.
Children with eating disorders often have co-existing medical conditions which require oversight by cardiologists, nutritionists and other pediatric medical specialists. Children's is uniquely positioned to provide the most comprehensive care to children with eating disorders by having access to the depth and breadth of pediatric subspecialists. The program has the ability to initiate treatment while a patient is receiving care for medical conditions related to the disease. In addition, the program has a treatment program for boys and a treatment program for children under the age of 12 years (latency), the only program in North Texas.
Children's offers a full spectrum of care for patients with eating disorders. Skilled and experienced psychiatrists, psychologists and family therapists work with children on an outpatient basis. If a child should need a higher level of care because symptoms persist, intensive outpatient, day treatment, partial hospitalization and inpatient programs are also available. The single setting and the continuity of staff across these spectrums of care allow for smooth transitions and an understanding of the child's individual needs.
Support is provided from many disciplines, including psychiatry, psychology, nursing, social work, nutrition and pastoral care. In all intensive settings, children are taught skills to eventually manage meals in the home, maintain weight and identify triggers to weight loss. The family is taught to supervise the child's meal plan and offer necessary support. Both family therapy and individual therapy are essential components of the program at higher levels of care.