Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are psychological illnesses in which emotions and thinking patterns cause a person to adopt harmful eating habits. They are often a way of coping with stress or even depression.  

UT Southwestern Medical Center offers comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and treatment for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and related disorders. Our Eating Disorders Program helps patients to learn healthy eating habits and to resolve psychological factors that contribute to their condition. Both children and adults are treated, with appropriate treatment methods for their particular age group.

Our physicians and researchers have access to the latest scientific findings and treatments for eating disorders that affect children, adolescents, and adults.

Some of these recent research findings include:

Anorexia nervosa
A serious disorder found primarily in young women; characterized by a fear of weight gain, which leads to poor eating patterns, malnutrition, and excessive weight loss; defined as weight loss to 15% or less than normal body weight
Bulimia nervosa
A disorder characterized by regular, severe eating binges after which the bulimic person purges food either by vomiting, using a laxative or diuretic, or by burning excessive amounts of calories through vigorous exercise; may be accompanied by anorexia nervosa

Treatments

For children and teens, the program offers inpatient, partial hospital, and outpatient services at Chlldren's Medical Center. We offer outpatient services for adults at the Psychiatry Clinic.

Because UT Southwestern is a leading research and teaching hospital, mental health care providers have access to the latest treatments for eating disorders:

  • After-care support
  • Family and relationship support
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Living skills education
  • Medical supervision
  • Medication management
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Psychological evaluation and intervention
  • Recreational and art therapy
  • Relapse prevention
  • Therapeutic meals