Childhood Eating Disorder Treatments

(Also Known As: Children's Eating Disorder Treatments, Eating Disorder Treatments, Bulimia Treatments, Anorexia Treatments, Binge Eating Treatments)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What Kinds of Childhood Eating Disorder Treatments are Available?

Seeking medical treatment with professionals whose expertise is childhood eating disorders is very important. If you have a child or loved one who you know and have observed signs and symptoms of eating disorders that are present in the DSM-IV, seek appropriate treatment for him/her with experts to assess and advise which of the treatment options is best for your little ones. You can first ask your family physician or pediatrician, but also try school counseling services, mental health professionals like psychiatrist and psychologist, go to the nearest clinic or hospital, Yellow Pages or self-help groups near your area.

Treating childhood eating disorders depends on the type of eating disorder that is present in your child but usually, it is through psychotherapy, nutrition education and medication. There are also instances where hospitalization is needed to stabilize the weight and symptoms of the patient. This kind of treatment is for severe patients that need more intensive treatment especially those anorexics that do not want to eat or increase their weight.

With psychotherapy, child and psychiatrist should establish good camaraderie to be able for the children to express their thoughts and feelings. In this way, the child’s poor way of eating will be replaced into a healthy practice. There is another type of psychotherapy which is normally used when treating eating disorder and this is the cognitive behavioral therapy; although some may find family therapy and group therapy to be helpful for recovery. A research from Maudsley Hospital in London, England shows that family therapy demonstrated the greatest opportunity for children who suffer anorexia for three years or less and is living at home with their family to easily recover from this disorder. 1

Other kinds of therapy that can help on eating disorder are interpersonal therapy (IPT) which concentrates on present social functioning with the people that are significant to the patients; psychodynamic psychotherapy is a long therapy that centers on the idea that conflicts that are unsettled in an individual's childhood continue into adulthood which will produce more problems. So, it is important to resolve conflicts to avoid you from repeating those behavioral patterns; and the Maudsley Treatment Model which is a type of family therapy where the whole family including siblings, parents and the patient are involved. This kind of therapy is very useful for adolescents with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. 2

Because a child with childhood eating disorder is involved in eating unhealthy habits, dietitians can provide helpful information on what a healthy diet is. Dietitians can also create eating plan to be able to regain the weight that was gone and if the child is doing binge-eating, he/she will be medically supervised through this nutrition education.

Also, there are instances where medications are needed to treat childhood eating disorders. There are studies that shown that medications treat bulimia more successfully than medication treatment for anorexia nervosa. 3 Medications will not just help the patient to manage their desire to binge or purge but using this treatment may help them to manage associative symptoms of eating disorders like depressions, anxiety, and other psychological symptoms linked with childhood eating disorders.

Could You Have Childhood Eating Disorder?

Childhood Eating Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Anorexia Nervosa – Starvation, Over-Exercise, Laxatives, Diuretics, Warped Body Image
Bulimia Nervosa – binge eating, purging, fasting, excessive eating, uncontrolled eating