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Eating disorders exacerbated during holidays

December 20, 2010
by News release
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Phoenix — According to the medical staff at Remuda Ranch, the holidays can be an especially vulnerable time for individuals with eating disorders. While many patients in treatment miss their families, they appreciate the opportunity to receive help during this difficult time of year.

"Family members often want to postpone treatment until after the holidays," says Lesley Williams, MD, director of medical services at Remuda Ranch. "This delay can translate to patients not receiving the care they require during an emotional time when their eating disorder behaviors will likely increase rather than improve."

The stress of the holidays exacerbates eating disorder behaviors and the safety of an inpatient or residential setting allows them to address their eating disorder without outside distractions, Wiliams explains. The pressure of seeing family members, potential discussions about their appearance, or what they are or aren't eating, also can provoke anxiety.

"This doesn't even include the tremendous focus on food at every event during the season," she adds. "Early intervention is critical. The sooner an individual gets help, the easier it is to reverse damage that has been done and it can prevent further harm from occurring."

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