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When you and your loved one have decided to seek out treatment for an eating disorder, time is of the essence.  Because eating disorder thoughts and behaviors are often so intense, motivation to recover is fragile and perhaps even fleeting.  That being said, however, choosing the right treatment program is absolutely essential to setting up your child for success in recovering from their eating disorder.  With 100s of programs available in the United States and the clock ticking, finding the best program for your child and their individual needs can feel overwhelming.  Here are 8 questions to ask when considering an eating disorder recovery treatment program that will hopefully help you narrow down your choices.

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Dear Fellow Parents,

If you’re anything like me, you may need a lighter perspective following the first week of our strange, new, COVID-19 reality.  So, hear you go:  Congratulations!  I mean it.  This past week was one of the most difficult, slow-moving, parenting experiences I’ve had so far.  Don’t get me wrong, I adore my children, I love spending time with them, but there is nothing like the task of facilitating e-learning with absolutely no option of escape to make you question your ability to be a quality parent.  And this of course is the best-case scenario, one in which you are not personally or directly affected by the actual illness.  So, here’s the thing to know, you are a great parent, and now, more than ever, I want to make sure you hear me when I say, we are all doing the very best that we can right now.  And, it is good enough!  Enough is the important word here, enough.  We do not have to be homeschooling super stars or master the art of cooking a week’s worth of kid-friendly meals from whatever you currently have in your pantry – we just have to be good enough.  Lower your expectations of yourself, settle into the moment, and give yourself a high-five if you can currently locate all of your children.

Here are a few more tips to help lower the bar:

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Eating disorders are a complex set of mental illnesses that can impact someone’s mood, thought processes, and physical health. Food restriction, binging, purging, and over-exercising are just a few of the signs that your loved one may have a problem. However, eating disorders are much more than the struggle you witness at the dinner table.

Most people with eating disorders are constantly fighting an internal battle over their food, their body, and their everyday choices. They can feel immense guilt and shame when they disregard disordered eating urges, but simultaneously feel miserable engaging in these patterns. While this internal dialogue is rarely obvious to others, it is ever-present. This makes it incredibly difficult to find the right words to show that you care. While it’s never your job to fix or save your loved one, knowing what words and phrases are most helpful will communicate your support and concern.

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One of the biggest challenges in seeking treatment for an eating disorder is determining what level of care is appropriate. It can be difficult to balance the need for medical stabilization and accountability with you or your loved one’s desires for independence. Northside Consulting can help you determine which option might be best for you, to provide the most support and best chance at sustained recovery.

Outcomes for eating disorders are most successful when individuals gradually stair-step down into less intensive levels of treatment as they progress in recovery. This means that typically, after assessment and placement in an appropriate level of care, we recommend clients participate in each subsequent treatment level as outlined below. This helps provide the most support and avoids any sudden disruptions in the recovery process.

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