Orthorexia diagnosis and treatment
Recognizing the symptoms and reaching out for help are great steps forward in getting you the Orthorexia support you need and deserve. While Orthorexia is not technically an eating disorder diagnosis as defined by its inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5 (the American Psychiatric Association’s universal standard in diagnosing mental health conditions), a professional will be able to recognize many defining characteristics to help guide you in navigating your journey toward healing.
Treating Orthorexia requires specialized eating disorder treatment from providers who are experienced in working with these conditions. Here at Walden Behavioral Care, we offer treatment at all levels of care for all eating disorder and disordered eating diagnoses, including Orthorexia. Because no two eating conditions are exactly the same, we are committed to collaborating with you to make a treatment plan that is 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.
Because Orthorexia is not a formally recognized condition (as it is not yet included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – the American Psychiatric Association’s universal standard in diagnosing mental health conditions) it is more difficult to diagnose. There are however, a few tools that can be used to determine symptoms indicative of Orthorexia. Appropriately recognizing these specific symptoms, like any other mental/physical health condition, must be done by a professional with expert experience. Here at Walden Behavioral Care, our clinicians utilize the Orto-15 test to help identify thoughts and behaviors of Orthorexia.
According to the Orto-15 test, the criteria for an Orthorexia determination are scored based on the answers to several questions including some of the ones below:
- When eating, do you pay attention to the calories of the food?
- When you go in a food shop, do you feel confused?
- In the last three months, did the thought of food worry you?
- Are your eating choices conditioned by your worry about your health status?
- Is the taste of food more important than the quality when you evaluate food?
- Do you think that the conviction to eat only healthy food increases self-esteem?
- Do you allow yourself any eating transgressions?
- Do you feel guilty when transgressing?
- Do you think that eating healthy food changes your life-style (frequency of eating out, friends…)?
Depending on your answers, a professional can help you determine appropriate next steps on your path toward healing.
Treatment for Orthorexia
Orthorexia is a complex condition, impacting emotional, physical and psychological health. While complicated, recovery from Orthorexia is possible with the right kind of specialized Orthorexia treatment. Our approach to Orthorexia treatment at Walden Behavioral Care is a specifically designed process focused on your unique journey and recovery goals. Together, we will work to better understand and address the feelings and thoughts that have brought you here and help you learn the tools needed for lasting success.
Our Orthorexia treatment incorporates evidence-based therapies proven to support long-term recovery. Using these therapies 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 phobias or anxieties around specific objects, experiences or locations. The premise of the model 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 adolescent clients, FBT considers family members and caretakers vital members of the treatment team. Parents and caretakers take part in treatment with their teen so the skills and knowledge learned can become part of 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.
- Partial Hospitalization (PHP)
- Intensive Outpatient (IOP)
- Outpatient services
No matter your background or individual needs, we can provide you with the personalized support you deserve.
Learn more about Orthorexia.