NEW - Support groups now open to ALL California residents!
Virtual Support Groups You’ll Love
We provide support groups for both teens and adults in Los Angeles and beyond. We treat eating disorders, low self-esteem, and body image issues with our affordable, accessible, and intensive online support groups.
Learn more about yourself and your relationship with food and your body in a group led by a licensed therapist who specialized is Body Image, ED, and anxiety.
A welcoming, fun and fresh group therapy session to connect with others who understand what you’re going through. Find a real community of friends you vibe with!
Support groups have never been more accessible! Join from the convenience of your own home. Groups are also more affordable online as well!
We specialize in treating anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, orthorexia, disordered eating, low self-esteem, and poor body image.
As a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we are committed to our mission – your recovery – above profit in providing affordable therapeutic treatment to prevent relapse and support you in your recovery journey.
Eating Disorders We Treat
Eating disorders are conditions that arise in a person’s thoughts and emotions that affect the way they eat. Contrary to popular belief, no one chooses to have these disorders. It is not a lifestyle choice, nor are eating disorders visible solely through how much a person weighs. Many people who are severely struggling are not obviously emaciated, yet are also in need of support and treatment.
Eating related disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating are serious illnesses that can eventually lead to serious medical complications and death in many cases. They are most commonly developed during teenage and young adult years and have a high correlation to trauma. There is hope for those who suffer from these disorders and it is possible to heal your relationship with food. Our Los Angeles Eating Disorder Treatment is affordable, reliable, and flexible with our comprehensive treatment program.
Avoidant or Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
The most well-known of all disorders associated with eating, anorexia affects the way a person views their body. They see themselves as overweight, even if they are near starvation. It is characterized by extreme weight loss, preoccupation with weight and food, inaccurate body image, and restrictive eating habits. It affects all types of people, but is most often diagnosed in young women.
Bulimia, like anorexia, is also commonly known. Similarities with anorexia include: prominent diagnosis in women and often developing in teenage/childhood years. Bulimia is characterized by a restrict-binge cycle. During a binge phase, which is often done in secret, they feel unable to stop or control themselves around food. Afterward, they feel so full, uncomfortable, and guilt-ridden, they purge the food a short time after eating. Purging can take various forms, including vomiting, excessive exercise, laxatives, fasting/starvation.
Binge eating patterns are one of the most common eating related disorders in the United States. Like other such disorders, it usually begins in adolescence and is characterized by a large intake of calories on an irregular basis. However, binge eaters do not purge, exercise exhaustively, or restrict calories to compensate. They binge in secret and hide evidence of how much food they are eating.
People suffering from pica crave things that aren’t food, such as dirt, detergent, wood, rock, chalk, hair, and cloth. It is most often seen in pregnant women, co-existing with other mental health diagnoses, and children. Depending upon the craving, pica can be fatal, and individuals suffering from it are more likely candidates for gut injuries, poisoning, and nutritional deficiencies.
Individuals suffering from this disorder regurgitate their food and rechew it. They either swallow it again or spit it out. It is a voluntary action, unlike acid reflux and other digestive maladies. It can be fatal or result in malnutrition and weight loss. Symptoms include bad breath and rotting teeth. Stomach and digestion problems, and chapped, red lips. This particular eating disorder is seen in infants almost solely but may occasionally be found in young adults and adolescents but it is unusual.
Avoidance or Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
Avoidance of foods or severely restricting food intake was once diagnosed for children under seven only. It is now known to develop in infancy but sometimes carry over into adolescence and adulthood. It is equally diagnosed in women and men. People with this disorder find themselves uninterested in food or with an aversion to certain smells, textures, tastes, and temperatures, often accompanied by a fear of choking.
Disordered eating fits for anyone who doesn’t fall into any category of diagnosed eating disorders, or the eating behaviors aren’t severe enough to meet a clinical diagnosis. This might look like: distress over food, stress, anxiety, and/or depression related to mealtimes, fears about weight gain, occasional restriction, binging and/or purging, preoccupation with food, body and appearance, and an overall unhealthy relationship with food.
Orthorexia is a relatively new diagnosis for eating disorders. It is characterized by an extreme preoccupation with “healthy eating” or “clean eating.” This looks like: obsession with ingredients in food, constant dieting, avoiding food or situations that don’t involve “healthy” food, rigid around meals and meal planning. Orthorexia is often not diagnosed because these individuals are praised for their “healthy” lifestyle, despite the very real impact of losing functioning due to this preoccupation.
What Causes Eating Related Disorders?
Eating related disorders largely genetic, but a range of environmental and biological variables can have an effect in starting off the behaviors. Personality traits such as perfectionism, obsessive thinking, neuroticism, and impulsivity point to a greater risk of developing eating-related difficulties. Trauma is very often linked to the development of an eating-related disorder as a way to regain control.
Recent research also points to some sociocultural ideals as a trigger for eating-related illnesses. The media bombards the public with images of ultra-thinness as an example of a perfect body. Social media is full of photoshopped and airbrushed images so filtered it is impossible to know what anyone really looks like. This perpetual exposure influences our body image on a conscious and subconscious level.
Treating Eating Disorders
Individuals suffering on the spectrum of eating disorders are at a higher risk for suicide and medical complications, which makes seeking help from an eating disorder treatment center imperative. Complete recovery is possible with the proper help. Eating related disorders are treated in several different ways, including:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy/support groups
- Nutrition support with a dietician
- Outpatient, partial hospitalization, residential, or inpatient eating disorder treatment
Successful recovery incorporates a mixture of different treatments. For instance, a group therapy in conjunction with individual therapy and a nutrition counseling with a dietician. Our eating disorder treatment center, Gemmed, located in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, is built on combining these principals.
We strive to help our patients gain self-esteem and repair their relationship with food and their body with both teen groups and adult groups within our safe and supportive community of fun, like-minded peers working toward the same goal at our eating disorder treatment center. By using group therapy techniques, family meals, and new creative outlets we rewire our minds to around food and fill our lives with purpose outside of our body.
We not only understand what you are going through, but we have also lived through it. Co-founders Annie and Ellen used that experience to design a unique therapeutic curriculum in Los Angeles to address not just the eating disorder, but all other aspects of your life. Outpatient treatment at our Los Angeles area centers will help get your life back.