ARFID diagnosis and treatment
Recognizing the symptoms and reaching out for help are the first steps forward in getting you or someone you love the ARFID treatment and support you need and deserve. Once you have identified symptoms, a professional can provide an ARFID diagnosis and recommend the level of care necessary for you in your healing journey.
Treating ARFID, or any eating disorder, requires treatment from providers experienced working with these conditions. Here at Walden Behavioral Care, we offer specialized eating disorder treatment for all eating disorders, including ARFID, at all levels of care. Because no two eating disorders are the same, we are committed to creating a treatment plan specific to you and your recovery goals. No matter where you are in your recovery process, we will be with you every step of the way.
Like any other medical condition, accurately diagnosing ARFID must be done by a professional with expert experience. Here at Walden Behavioral Care, our clinicians follow the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) guidelines set forth as the universal standard in diagnosing mental health conditions by the American Psychiatric Association.
According to the DSM-5, the criteria for an ARFID diagnosis are as follows:
- • An eating or feeding disturbance like an apparent lack of interest in eating or food, avoidance of food based on specific sensory characteristics, concern about aversive consequences of eating
- Manifested by persistent failure to meet appropriate nutritional and energy needs associated with one or more of the following:
- Significant weight loss (or failure to achieve expected weight gain or faltering growth in children)
- Significant nutritional deficiency
- Dependence on nutritional supplements or enteral feeding
- Marked interference with psychosocial functioning
- The disturbance cannot be explained or attributed to the lack of available food or by an associated culturally sanctioned practice
- The eating disturbance does not occur exclusively during anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, and there is no evidence of a disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced
- ARFID cannot be attributed to a concurrent medical condition or explained by another mental disorder. When the eating disturbance occurs in the context of another condition or disorder, the severity of the eating disturbance exceeds that routinely associated with the condition or disorder and warrants additional clinical attention.
Treatment for ARFID
ARFID is a complex condition, impacting emotional, physical, and psychological health. While complicated, recovery is possible with the right kind of specialized ARFID treatment. Our approach at Walden Behavioral Care is a specifically designed process focused on your unique journey and recovery goals. Together, we will work to understand better and address the feelings and thoughts that have brought you here, helping you learn the tools needed for lasting success.
Our ARFID treatment incorporates evidence-based therapies proven to support long-term recovery. Using these in both individual and group therapy, we will help to manage your symptoms and increase confidence. These include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – Helps individuals to identify and understand unhelpful thoughts that can influence behavior. With CBT, you will learn that by changing your thoughts, you can improve your experiences.
- Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) – This CBT technique is used with individuals experiencing fear (phobias) or anxieties around specific objects, experiences, or locations. The basis of this type of therapy is that the more exposure an individual gets to the fear or phobia, the less powerful it becomes.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) – Combines aspects of CBT with skills-based techniques to help manage uncomfortable emotions. DBT will help you learn useful coping strategies to replace disordered behaviors and safely manage triggers.
- Family-Based Treatment (FBT) – Designed for children and adolescents, FBT considers family members and caretakers vital members of the treatment team. Parents and caretakers take part in treatment with their child or teen to learn the skills and knowledge and incorporate them in their lives at home.
At Walden Behavioral Care, we offer one of the nation’s only full system of specialized eating disorder treatment at every level of care.
No matter your background or individual needs, we can provide you with the personalized ARFID support you deserve.
Learn more about ARFID.