Some parents have long struggled with children that are so-called picky eaters. Their frustration may involve unending concerns with the limited lists of foods their children would agree to eat and the worry if there would be food their child would eat when they were outside the home setting. Experts added avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 2013. Prior to this recognition by the medical community, many thought the disorder’s symptoms defined a picky eater. While still not as commonly diagnosed and treated as other eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia, Crossroads can treat ARFID as part of its dedicated eating disorder treatment program for women in Maine.
How Picky Eaters Develop Eating Disorders
ARFID is different from other eating disorders in that it is not associated with body image or an obsession with weight loss. It is generally a result of trauma from an incident in early childhood, and the negative association sits with them for years. It can come to the point that they believe eating these foods might kill them.
The trauma could be from a choking incident, or, for babies born prematurely, it might be a result of having had tubes in their mouths and noses. These sensory issues can cause a fear of foods being dangerous to them, and that association can be a huge mental and physical strain.
Eating Disorder Treatment at Crossroads
Crossroads creates an engaging, therapeutic, and comfortable environment for women to engage in eating disorders and addiction treatment. Women receive the support they need to come to terms with the seriousness of these issues and make their well-being a priority. We offer treatment for women by women. Through our approach, they feel more confident that the program will address their unique needs and challenges. Crossroads provides an integrated approach to treatment in Maine. Our service is unlike any other program in the country. Through our program, women can grow, heal, and become whole in their own time while building strategies and skills they need for lasting recovery.
Despite it only being recognized as a disorder in the last decade, ARFID is a treatable condition. The key is to find a program and a professional (or professionals) who are knowledgeable about the best treatment options. These experts understand how to treat the trauma and the sensory tissue issues associated with ARFID. Forcing a patient to try foods can activate and increase the symptoms even more. Common in children, teenagers, and young adults, a high success rate is seen in treating ARFID. These age groups feel great pressure and desire to overcome anything that is not seen as normal behavior.
Crossroads Can Help with ARFID Treatment and More
While we are still learning about ARFID as a professional community, Crossroads is capable of treating all eating disorders. Many of our programs focus on the family education aspect, for both residential and outpatient. Through this treatment, the whole family supports recovery and creates a safe environment. Addiction and eating disorders affect everyone’s lives, which means that working together to address challenges, increase understanding, and build healthy routines is essential. Family therapies have proven effective in helping loved ones explore how these conditions impact their lives, how they can better overcome challenges, and how they can play an active role in the recovery process.
At Crossroads, we offer a variety of treatment programs for women, including:
- Residential women’s treatment program
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
- Rehab for women with children
- Dual diagnosis programs
Our trained and caring team is available to answer any questions you have about our treatment options. Call us at 877.978.1667.