Improving Anorexia Care Starts with Nutrition
Article originally published by Kaja Perina on PsychologyToday.com. Article preview below.
If you or a loved one is living with anorexia, or if you are a clinician who cares for people with anorexia, Dr. James Greenblatt’s new book, Answers to Anorexia: Master the Balance of Hope & Healing, may prove a useful read. Dr. Greenblatt is the medical director of Walden Behavioral Care, a consortium of eating disorder treatment centers. He is also a functional psychiatrist and one of the original pioneers in the field of orthomolecular psychiatry, which seeks to correct biochemical imbalances using nutritional supplements. He has poured his three decades of experience working with thousands of people with anorexia into this book, resulting in a thorough and accessible guide for patients, families, and professionals.
Anorexia is one of the most vexing conditions we psychiatrists face in our clinical work—and one of the deadliest. Disordered eating behavior is just one of the many facets of this extraordinarily complex condition, which is often accompanied by intense anxiety, delusional thinking, cognitive impairment, irritability, severe depression, and suicidal ideation. In my 20 years of clinical experience as a general psychiatrist, including 13 years in college mental health, I know firsthand how challenging this condition is to treat. People suffering from anorexia rarely seek care for their condition on their own, as poor insight into the illness and resistance to treatment are hallmarks of this disease. These symptoms are often misinterpreted as defiance, which can foster feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and even anger in those who are trying to help.