When one local woman was struggling with an eating disorder as a teenager, she said it was hard to know where to turn for the best help.
“Back then there wasn’t a whole lot of treatment available as far as residential, inpatient specializing in eating disorders,” said Misty Rees.
Now, Rees is the answer to that gap in treatment options. She founded Selah House in Anderson, Ind. It’s the only inpatient eating disorder facility in the state and one of the only in the Midwest.
“I just think a lot of people have a lot of hopelessness when it comes to eating disorders and so our hope is that we can make the awareness that there’s a place out there,” said Rees.
Selah House offers inpatient treatment for adolescents and adults with the end goal of complete freedom from eating disorders.
“Many times there’s depression and anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder and trauma that are underneath the eating disorder,” said Rees.
Rees said Selah House has specialists who can help people overcome the complex causes of an eating disorder.
Anorexia and bulimia have the highest mortality rates of any psychiatric disorder. About 3 percent of adolescents are diagnosed with an eating disorder, and according to the National Eating Disorder Association, 10 million girls and women and 1 million boys and men are struggling with eating disorders.
The condition is often goes underreported and untreated. Nearly 50 percent of girls ages 11 to 13 consider themselves overweight.
Parents should know what to look for and when to consider a professional opinion or therapy, said Jennifer Ward, director of Nutritional Services at Selah House.
“Things in your adolescent like not willing to eat with others or eating only a limited number of foods or just very erratic eating patterns,” said Ward.
Selah House offers free assessments if you think you or a loved one may need help.