Continued from previous page.

The Eating Disorders Programme​ from the Department of Psychiatry at Singapore General Hospital​ (SGH), a member of the SingHealth​​ group, shares how eating disorders can be treated.​

Holistic approach to treating eating disorders

The most effective and long-lasting treatment for an eating disorder is some form of psychotherapy or counselling, coupled with careful attention to medical and nutritional needs.

The team would consist of licenced health professionals including but not limited to a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, nutritionist, and/or primary care physician.

Ideally, this treatment should be tailored to the individual and will vary according to both the severity of the disorder and the patient’s individual problems, needs, and strengths.

Treatment will include either all of or a few of the following:

Inpatient care

Inpatient care is necessary when an eating disorder has led to physical problems that may be life-threatening or when an eating disorder has reached a level of severe psychological or behavioral problems.

Weight restoration

This improves the patient's health, mood and cognitive functioning.

Medication

Medication relieves depression and anxiety in the individual.

Couselling

  1. Individual counselling helps the patient develop healthy ways of taking control of one’s life. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been proven effective in treating bulimia and binge eating disorder. The counselling of choice for anorexia is determined by individual and family circumstances.
  2. Group counselling helps the patient learn how to manage relationships effectively.
  3. Family counselling encourages the patient to change old patterns and create healthier new ones.
  4. Nutrition counselling encourages the patient get rid of food myths and design healthy meals.

Support groups

Support groups break down isolation and alienation. However, support groups by themselves are not sufficient treatment for an eating disorder. To be effective, they must be integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan.

Information modified from Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorder, Inc​. (ANRED)

See previous page to learn about the complications of eating disorders​.

​Ref: U11​