Combating an eating disorder is huge and generally involves a collaborative team of specialists, including a psychiatrist (or psychologist) to work through the psychological dynamics, a physician to monitor physical status, and a nutritionist (or dietitian) to reintroduce food as an ally—not an enemy. Here are some things you can do if you suspect a friend or family member has an eating disorder:
♦ Call your local hospital (or some of the treatment centers listed later in this chapter) and gather information on the various programs in your area. Ask about individual therapists, group therapy sessions, and nutritionists that specialize in food issues.
In a very caring and gentle way, discuss your concerns with your friend or relative, and provide some of the professional resources and phone numbers that you've found. Be very supportive and patient; even offer to go along for any initial consults.
♦ If the person is a minor and refuses to get help, you might need to speak with a family member.
Where to Go for Help
The following organizations can provide information, literature, and qualified referrals for the treatment of eating disorders:
National Eating Disorders Association
603 Stewart St., Suite 803 Seattle, WA 98101 Tel: 206-382-3587
Help line and treatment referral line: 1-800-931-2237 www.nationaleatingdisorders .org
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
Some of the comprehensive treatment centers available include:
Eating Disorders Clinic
The New York State Psychiatric Institute Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center 1051 Riverside Drive New York, NY 10032 212-543-5316
Westchester Division—The New York Presbyterian Hospital
Weill Cornell Medical Center
21 Bloomingdale Road
White Plains, NY 10605
The Renfrew Center
475 Spring Lane Philadelphia, PA 19128 1-800-736-3739 215-482-5353
Was this article helpful?