By Pamela Reynolds
December 14, 2020
James Greenblatt, functional psychiatrist and chief medical officer at Walden Behavioral Care in Waltham, MA, has noticed a disturbing trend in the patient population he sees. “We didn’t take 11- and 12-year-olds, five or 10 years ago,” he says. “They were much fewer, and they could be treated outpatient. But the ages of onset are getting younger and the symptoms are getting more severe.”
Greenblatt, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Tufts University and Dartmouth College (Figure 1), is on the front lines when it comes to treating eating disorders. Working in what is one of a growing number of facilities in the United States dedicated solely to treating anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binging, and other eating disorders, Greenblatt oversees the care of patients who grapple with the often devastating consequences of an unhealthy relationship with food. In 2020, to meet growing demand, Walden expanded to 82 beds (36 residential, 46 inpatient), admitting over the course of a year more than 5000 patients.
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