A Promising Treatment for Eating Disorders

by Rob Sysak, July 5, 2017
CAMH Dr Yuliya Knyahnytska

CAMH Dr Yuliya Knyahnytska

The number of people who are currently suffering from eating disorders like anorexia is at its highest ever rate. People never think that someone they know could ever have a disorder like this which is part of the issue. People should always look out for the signs of anorexia nervosa, especially if they know someone who is going through a hard time at the moment. People with severe treatment-resistant anorexia have new hope for recovery thanks to Dr Yuliya Knyahnytska, a clinical fellow with CAMH’s Temerty Centre for Therapeutic Brain Intervention.

Eating disorders have one of the highest mortality rates of any mental disorder, and there are no medications to treat them. For many individuals who suffer from an eating disorder, it’s likely that they also suffer from other mental health problems like depression, anxiety, or body dysmorphia. Some might even suffer from insomnia or in better words lack of sleep. Because of this link, there are ways (like trying out marijuana for sleep and anxiety, for instance) that people can help themselves through this without succumbing to it and getting worse. Some options will be mentioned below but there are alternatives that are not talked about extensively, like using herbal medications and supplements as well as looking on websites such as Organic CBD Nugs for additional resources if this is the avenue they want to go down.

It’s important that anyone who is suffering gets some sort of treatment, like treatments here, for their co-occurring disorders. It can be tough reaching out to professionals and seeking help but it’s a step one must take in order to become as healthy as possible. Some people feel the need to avoid therapy because they feel uncomfortable opening up about an issue so personal to them. However, with the availability of Equine Therapy or other animal therapies provided by the likes of Aspiring Families or similar institutions, these people can get the benefits without the need to expose their soul out to somebody. People with anorexia spend much of their time serving their condition, and the disorder is incredibly debilitating. One of Dr. Knyahnytska’s patients says she isn’t living her life; her condition is living her life.

Dr. Knyahnytska is leading an exciting pilot study that involves using deep repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (r TMS). Users wear a helmet with a coil to target the insula-an area of the brain shown to play a significant role in perception, mood, anxiety, and feeding behaviour. The helmet’s design enables CAMH researchers to try rTMS for the first time on people with anorexia nervosa. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is more commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, which are regularly linked to eating disorders. More information about how this treatment is used to manage depression is over at pacificpsychcenters.com.

“Our aim is not just to focus on a patient’s body, but more so on the patient’s mind, giving them an opportunity to ease debilitating intrusive thoughts and behaviours that can take over a person’s life,” explained Dr. Knyahnytska.

Thanks to the support of donors like you, we are able to create hope for those living with treatment-resistant anorexia nervosa.

The next thing to focus on should be proper self-care after recovery for anorexia nervosa or eating disorder victims. Recovery after an eating disorder is a long road and requires the help of professionals and loved ones to be successful. You can click here to find out more about anorexia aftercare and what the best steps to take are.

Amazing work being done at CAMH!

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