Eating Disorder Treatment Center

Canopy Cove of Tallahassee, Florida

Author Archives: madwire

There is a large population of people who suffer from undiagnosed, and therefore untreated, eating disorders. Many people are shocked to discover this and have a hard time believing that they were not able to identify the symptoms of an eating disorder; after all, they are obvious, right? What do you think of when you imagine a person who is suffering from an eating disorder? If you are like most people, you may have an image in your head of a frail young woman who is clearly underweight and malnourished. While this image is not incorrect, it only represents a small portion of those who suffer from eating disorders. Eating disorders are crafty villains who prey on victims of all shapes and sizes, taking on different forms.

Invisible With a High BMI

Normalized “Dieting”

There are several reasons why persons of higher weight may go undiagnosed with an eating disorder. First, being overweight or obese is considered as being sub-par by societal standards. “Fat” is seen as failing as a person, and those who are overweight are encouraged to lose weight to fit society’s standard of normal or beautiful. So, when people of higher weights (and even higher end of normal, healthy weights) restrict their diet, it may go unnoticed or passed off as dieting. It is often assumed that restrictive public eating is countered with gorging behind closed doors. And, while binge eating is a common eating disorder, restrictive eating disorders are just as debilitating in people of higher weights as they are for people who are underweight.

Encouraged Unhealthy Restrictions

On top of going unnoticed, the higher a person’s BMI, the more unhealthy intake restrictions are encouraged. Not only by society as a whole, but by close friends, family, and even medical professionals. First suggestions for weight loss are to dramatically cut calories and restrict intake. Fad diets that limit intake to a handful of specific foods only seem to perpetuate unhealthy encouragements. This is not to say that all limitations or suggestions encourage eating disorders, as some limitations are necessary to attain a healthy BMI for those in the obese category. However, society’s opinion is that bigger people should essentially just starve until an acceptable weight is attained, and this is simply unhealthy and untrue.

Fat Shaming

When someone of a higher weight indulges in a treat, it does not typically go unnoticed and unjudged. Many are quick to pass judgment and mutter things like “you shouldn’t be eating that” or “are you sure you want some?” as if the only acceptable food for someone of a higher BMI to consume is kale and celery. Additionally, larger people are met with more ridicule when attempting to be active than their more healthy appearing counterparts, even though weight and fitness are not necessarily synonymous. Instead of recognizing signs of an unhealthy eating disorder, obese people are often congratulated on their weight loss.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder and more people suffer from it than anorexia and bulimia combined. Additionally, nearly 40 percent of those who suffer from BED are males, which “violates” every preconceived notion that society has of eating disorders. BED causes the sufferer to feel powerless over their ability to control their eating and causes them to eat until they are uncomfortably full, even when not hungry. This is often done rapidly, and often hidden as a secret. This secrecy often contributes to a lack of diagnosis.

Normalized at an “Ideal” Weight

Those people who fall in the “healthy” BMI range of 18 and 25 and display symptoms of an eating disorder are often dismissed or even praised as a normal dedication to weight maintenance. People are quick to acknowledge the hard work it takes to reach an ideal weight and many unhealthy restrictive eating disorder symptoms are praised as motivation and dedication. No one bats an eye when an average sized woman refuses to partake in appetizers at dinner when she says “oh, no thank you, I am trying to fit into (insert event ensemble here)” or when a chiseled beefcake refuses to eat anything but chicken breasts and broccoli. However, it is these comments and beliefs that easily lead to incredibly unhealthy practices that are common in eating disorders, but are socially acceptable and passed off as normal to obtain or maintain an ideal weight.

Eating disorders are vicious beasts who rob the lives of their powerless victims. Victims come in all shapes, sizes, colors, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Simply put, there is no face of what a typical eating disorder patient is. If you or someone you love suffers from symptoms of an eating disorder, honestly confront it and seek help. The sooner you begin recovery for your eating disorder, the better your outcome will be. Contact us at Canopy Cove for more information about eating disorders or to enroll in one of our eating disorder and recovery treatment programs.

Author Archives: madwire

It is not often that someone makes a conscious decision to engage in behaviors that will result in an eating disorder. While it may be true that some eating disorders begin as what could be called normal dieting that then escalates into an obsessive behavior, most eating disorders develop over time and have subtle warning signs that may be easy to overlook or pass off as something different. If you have noticed changes in your loved one but are unable to put a finger on what is going on or what you should do about it, here are a few subtle clues that your loved one is silently suffering from an eating disorder.

They Don’t Want to Eat with or in Front of Other People.

Humans are social creatures and eating together is one of the most common reasons to get together and socialize. Where there are groups of people, you can be sure to find food nearby. When someone seems anxious or avoids eating with or in front of people, this is a signal that something is going on. For someone who suffers from anorexia, eating in public can be overwhelming and nerve-racking when they assume everyone is watching what they eat and will notice their food rituals (see below). For those who suffer from bulimia, eating in public may cause anxieties because people may notice the binge and prevent the purge. Being in a new location with access to unknown facilities makes someone who suffers from bulimia highly anxious. And, someone who suffers from binge eating disorder (BED) may feel very uncomfortable when others notice the combinations and quantity of what they eat.

Eating Is Very Ritualistic

Eating disorders are very reminiscent of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and the two are often found together. If your loved one has a specific food ritual and gets very upset if it is altered or noticed, it is a sign that they may be suffering from a number of eating disorders. Most commonly, ritualistic eating behaviors are indicative of anorexia nervosa. Rituals such as excessive chewing, cutting food into small pieces, or arranging for in a particular fashion are tactics to avoid eating.

New Diets or Food Obsessions

New diets may be a legitimate attempt to lose or gain weight and may be perfectly healthy and no cause for concern. However, when food becomes an obsession and everything consumed must be logged or is accounted for in one way or another, it is more than just a diet. A newly recognized eating disorder, orthorexia, is an obsession over avoiding foods that are considered unhealthy and analyzing the foods that are considered healthy. While dieting to lose weight is not of much concern if done safely and in moderation, becoming obsessed with food and calorie counting is cause for concern. If your loved one is frantic over how many calories are in their gum or seasoning, these are hard warning signs that a diet has gone far beyond healthy.

Always Has an Excuse Not to Eat

To hide or normalize symptoms of restrictive intake eating disorders or for the sake of binge eating in private, many who suffer from an eating disorder will do so silence. A tale-tell sign is the constant avoidance of eating and food. To make light of the situation or to avoid prying questions, someone who suffers from an eating disorder will come up with excuses of why they cannot partake — not hungry, just ate, waiting for a special meal later, upset stomach, suddenly a vegetarian or allergic to new foods, on a new diet, etc.

Change in Appearance

A change in appearance is typically a later sign that a person has been suffering for a while and able to hide it until the outward signs become more apparent. Perhaps they noticed the changes — weight gain or loss, brittle hair, dry skin, dark circles around the eyes — and made every attempt to hid it, successfully. Changes in skin, hair, and nails are often caused by starvation of essential nutrients and are more common in those who suffer from anorexia and some who suffer from bulimia. Weight loss can be an indicator of most eating disorders, while those who suffer from binge eating disorder may gain, lose, or maintain their weight.

Poor Body Image

While most people struggle at some point with their appearance, it is not obsessive. Negative self-talk such as “I am so fat” can be warning signs that poor body image may be more than just a self-confidence issue. Some warning signs that your loved one has poor self-body image include their obsession about how their body looks and how food affects it, constant checking for fat deposits, inability to see any positives, takes compliments as negative and refuses to see self as they actually are.

Obsessive Exercise

For some, but not all, who suffer from restrictive eating disorders, excessive exercise goes hand in hand. Exercise is used as both a form of self-punishment, but also as a way to rid the body of the few calories that were consumed. It may be difficult to recognize obsessive exercise behaviors in athletes or those who are training for something specific (i.e. a marathon). Indications that the behaviors are obsessive and may be tied to an eating disorder include obsession with workout tracking apps, relating food consumed to need to burn calories, anger and anxiety related to missing a workout, and over-doing workouts.

Not all symptoms of eating disorders will be present in every person who suffers, nor will an eating disorder manifest the same in each person. Other symptoms may include constantly being cold, development of fine body hair (lanugo), hoarding food, hiding food, use of laxatives, and consuming large amounts of unhealthy food in one sitting. If you are concerned that your loved one suffers from an eating disorder, it is okay to directly ask them about their feelings and beliefs toward food. Reach out to us at Canopy Cove for more information regarding eating disorders and how to help your loved one. We have a variety of treatment options and can help you address the topic. Contact us today!

Author Archives: madwire

The idea that media is a powerful influence on self-image and self-worth is not new. Global campaigns to reflect the normal, healthy, human body in all forms of media have spawned such changes as the creation of proportionately more realistic dolls and retail store clothing mannequins, along with education about the unhealthy extremes that fashion models must endure to keep their tiny runway frames. However, in the digital era, social media has unleashed a new onslaught of visual challenges that encourage people of all shapes, sizes, and build to compare themselves to the idea of beauty depicted on the screen and offers a continual reminder of perceived shortcomings and self-consciousness.

Always on: Social media

Unlike the print forms of media of the past, where perfectly photoshopped women lay sprawled across the binding of the latest edition of a fashion magazine, social media offers an instant, constant refresh of pictures, posts, and tips. There is no break and even when you are working, studying, or sleeping, your feed is updating with hundreds of new posts, each hoping to push normalcy to the realm of mediocrity and challenge each viewer to be as perfect as the 87-degree angle and image filter presents that the poster is. The warped reality of a lifetime of perfect post-worthy moments captured on social media feeds results leads to a distorted perception of the world in general.

No likes: Should I take it down?

Not only does social media offer tens of thousands of new videos, pictures, and ideas to be viewed daily, with a constant feed of new information, but it offers a chance to feed the feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness that may already be brewing. Social media, full of followers instead of friends, keeping up with each other through posts instead of conversations is a form of social isolation that only seems to deepen when self-worth is dependent on likes and shares. Those who struggle with self-confidence may take hundreds of photos before finding one they don’t hate. Add an image filter to hide their perceived flaws, and post it while holding their breath. While they wait for the notifications of likes, they will continue to scrutinize their reflection and wonder if all those who saw the image and didn’t offer a “like” saw the same flaws as they did. This causes negative self-thoughts to worsen and leads to greater anxiety and social isolation.

Body shaming in the 20-teens

“Social media presence” is a legitimate job title and source of income for those people who are beautiful or interesting enough to gather a following of hundreds of thousands of followers who will tune in to see what they are doing or buying today. Most of these personalities are models who promote thin or fit lifestyles and live a how-to tutorial on their social media feed for all their followers to enjoy.

Social media has allowed body shaming to take on a whole new level of cruel. Gone are the days of sharpie outlines of flaws at slumber parties with your trusted friends. Now are the days when a single image posted on social media is opened to the scrutiny and comments of millions of other social media users. Comments made from behind a keyboard tend to be much crueler without the face-to-face contact and perceived anonymity. The ability to save or screenshot images, edit, and repost them has inspired a whole new means of bullying and body shaming that seems to be relentless. Online “trolling” is a sport of sorts, where users actively seek out posts to tear down. Sometimes these comments or threads are not even close to how they actually feel and are a nasty attempt to ridicule and publicly humiliate someone on their own social media thread.

Behind the scenes

Social media is a world that centers around image. While behind the scenes is the mundane, the normal, the average: onscreen reality is altered to show glamour, perfection, flawlessness. Filters can be applied before a photo is snapped and then airbrushed, filtered, and edited afterward to create a post-worthy image. However, behind the scenes, even beauty queens have their cracks that must be airbrushed. Unfortunately, when all that is displayed are the perfect final products, it helps to push those on the brink of an eating disorder over the edge in the search for the impossible self-perfection.

Recovery and social media

Eating disorders may begin as a pathway to achieving the perfect post-worthy body, it is actually a dark passenger who holds you hostage from your own life and body. Embrace social media as a positive outlet to record recovery and seek out others who are finding confidence in their own skin. Purge your social media thread of accounts that perpetuate a negative self-image, and replace them with strong role models such as body-positive activists and self-love advocates.

For help identifying and treating your eating disorder, contact us at Canopy Cove. We are experts in the world of eating disorders and overcoming negative self-image. Contact us for more information today!

Author Archives: madwire

Anorexia and Bulimia are not the same, but they do share certain features in common with each other, and they can even overlap and exist in the same person at the same time. However, it’s not hard to mistake anorexia and bulimia for each other, and once you know the signs and symptoms, it’s easy to tell them apart.



Anorexia is the refusal to eat enough food to maintain minimum body weight, with intense anxiety related to eating food in quantity. (See more in-depth information about anorexia in the anorexia section of our website.)


Bulimia is the practice of eating a large quantity of food and then purging it through vomiting, laxatives, or extreme exercise. (See more in-depth information about bulimia in the bulimia section of our website.)


Anorexia and bulimia do share a number of similarities, including the following:

  • They are both eating disorders.
  • In both, a person adopts an abnormal pattern of food consumption.
  • Sufferers from both anorexia and bulimia experience a very negative body image, often feeling “fat” even when they are clinically underweight.
  • Both place an excessive emphasis on physical appearance and weight.
  • Both tend to make the assumption that the thinner you are, the more worth you have as a person.
  • Both develop early in life, though anorexia tends to develop earlier.
  • Both tend to exist with common traits:
    • Low self-esteem
    • Need for control
    • Anxiety
    • Shame, guilt, and secrecy


Anorexia and bulimia also have a few key differences, including these:

  • Death rate. Anorexia has the highest death rate of all psychiatric illnesses. The primary cause of death for anorexia sufferers is suicide, followed by malnutrition.
  • Development of the other condition. Anorexics may adopt bulimic methods after time, but bulimics do not usually end up anorexic.
  • Noticeability. Anorexia typically makes a person visibly look thinner, but with bulimia, the person may have a normal-looking weight or even weight fluctuations. Therefore, it’s often harder to detect bulimia.

No conclusive link

There are also areas where anorexia and bulimia show no conclusive similarities or differences, or where different studies draw opposite or inconclusive results.

  • Race. Anorexia and bulimia can affect all populations of people from varying different ethnic backgrounds. Some studies seem to indicate a higher prevalence of anorexia among white females, but this is not conclusive.
  • Family background. The likelihood of getting anorexia or bulimia cannot be linked to having a certain type of upbringing. Children of all parenting styles, from rigid and authoritarian to loose and chaotic, can all be susceptible to getting an eating disorder.
  • Depression. While depression is very common among people with an eating disorder, there is not a distinct common thread for whether the depression caused the eating disorder or the eating disorder caused the depression, or if both appeared at the same time.

If you are suffering from anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating, recovery IS possible. Our caring, experienced staff will support you on your journey to recovery. Canopy Cove is located in a beautiful setting, surrounded by horses and nature, and is a safe place to heal. Contact us today to get started.

Clinical definition

Definition of Anorexia and Bulimia from the American Psychiatric Association:

Anorexia Nervosa

  • Refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height (e.g., weight loss leading to maintenance of body weight less than 85 percent of that expected; or failure to make expected weight gain during period of growth leading to body weight less than 85 percent of that expected).
  • Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight.
  • Disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced; undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight.
  • In post-menarcheal females, amenorrhea, i.e., the absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles. (A woman is considered to have amenorrhea if her periods occur only following hormone, e.g., estrogen, administration).

Restricting Type:

  • During the current episode of Anorexia Nervosa, the person has not regularly engaged in binge eating or purging behavior (i.e., self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas.)

Binge eating/Purging Type:

  • During the current episode of Anorexia Nervosa, the person has regularly engaged in binge eating or purging behavior (i.e., self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas). Anorexics who purge risk more serious harm than restricting only.

Bulimia Nervosa

Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:

  1. Eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g., within any two-hour period), an amount of food definitely larger than most people would eat during a similar period of time and under similar circumstances.
  2. A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g., a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating).
  • Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting; misuse of laxatives, diuretics, enemas, or other medications; fasting; or excessive exercise.
  • The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors both occur, on average, at least twice a week for three months.
  • Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight.
  • The disturbance does not occur exclusively during episodes of Anorexia Nervosa.

Purging Type:

  • During the current episode of Bulimia Nervosa, the person has regularly engaged in self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas. Bulimics who purge are at greater risk of harm than the Nonpurging Type (Garfinkel, Paul E. and Barbara J. Dorian. 2001. “Improving Understanding and Care for Eating Disorders.” Pp. 9-26 in R. H. Striegel-Moore and L. Smolak (eds.)
    Eating Disorders: Innovative Directions in Research and Practice. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association)

Nonpurging Type:

  • During the current episode of Bulimia Nervosa, the person has used other inappropriate compensatory behaviors, such as fasting or excessive exercise, but has not regularly engaged in self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas.

Author Archives: madwire

Great news for customers of Aetna Insurance who need residential eating disorder treatment: Canopy Cove is now an in-network provider with Aetna.

The Difficulty Of Getting Insurance Coverage For Eating Disorder Treatment

Finding an eating disorder treatment center that’s covered by your insurance isn’t always easy. However, when a patient is at the point in their eating disorder where residential treatment is the right step for them to take, NOT taking that step could be a life and death decision. When not attending treatment is simply not safe, it leaves many families scrambling to come up with the finances to get that much-needed treatment.

This leaves many patients at a loss, but fortunately, the insurance companies are slowly but surely catching on that eating disorder treatment is far more than an optional or elective treatment. We encourage and cheer on the efforts of other insurance providers to be more proactive in offering coverage for eating disorder recovery, as eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, according to a 2012 study.

What This News Means For Customers of Aetna

Getting help for eating disorders is now easier than ever for customers of Aetna. Now that Canopy Cove is an in-network provider with Aetna, it means that they consider our eating disorder program as part of the network of doctors, specialists, dentists, hospitals, surgical centers, and other facilities that they have a contract with as providers.

If Aetna is your provider and you have been waiting to get eating disorder treatment because of lack of insurance coverage, now is your chance to try again. You’ll still pay your coinsurance or copay along with your deductible, but overall, you’ll save money compared to paying for the entire cost of treatment out-of-pocket.

Canopy Cove Offers Help With Finding Insurance Coverage

If Aetna is not your provider, Canopy Cove’s Christian Eating Disorder Recovery program is still here to help! We are committed to doing whatever we can to help our customers find the insurance coverage they need. No matter who is your insurance provider, we can help you to explore your options and find out if eating disorder treatment is covered for you. Simply visit our insurance page and contact us for more detailed help to check your benefits.

We look forward to serving you, so please give us a call today at 888-245-6555 to speak to a trained specialist, or check your insurance benefits now when you fill out our online form, and someone will contact you shortly.

YES! I Want To Check My Insurance Benefits Now

Author Archives: madwire

If you or someone you know is struggling to recover from anorexia, bulimia, or another eating disorder, you might be wondering just what caused it and why the prevalence of eating disorders seems to be on the rise. While there are numerous factors that layer into the equation, in this blog post, we’ll look at the role that society plays in eating disorders.

Culture and body weightthe-story-we-tell

It’s a well-known fact that in 21st-century American culture, there is a prevailing sense that “thin is beautiful” for women. It’s also no secret that while we possess an awareness that much of that thinness is fake due to photoshop and other editing techniques, we still buy into it.

What’s less well-known is that our current standard of attaching thinness to beauty is arbitrary. It is by no means universal across cultures and across the centuries to think that “thin is beautiful” or to make beauty so strongly dependent on thinness.

Even in Western cultures, “plump” was considered to be beautiful, healthy, resistant to disease, fertile, and “sexy” up until about the 1880s. In other words, it’s not so much that being thin is objectively or inherently beautiful; it’s just that this is the story we are currently telling ourselves.

When most people tell themselves the same story at the same time in a society, it’s easy to forget about any other alternatives to that story. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that other versions of the story might be just as valid. And it’s definitely easy to forget that a person’s intrinsic worth has nothing to do with their outer beauty.


discontentSeveral years ago, a professor of Sociology at Aquinas College noticed a curious fact when she passed out body-image surveys to her students. The overwhelming majority of female students (96%) expressed dissatisfaction with their bodies.

This discontent is not just a prevalent attitude shared by most people in society; it’s also something perceived as “normal,” rather than an idea to toss out.

Instead of societal pressure to tell ourselves a different story than the one that’s damaging us, subtle forces are at work in our culture to confirm and enhance this dissatisfaction with body image. The existence of discontent is a key opportunity for the beauty industry to translate that discontent into dollars. “You don’t like the way your body looks? There’s a product for that.” Women are major decision makers when it comes to where to spend money, and companies stand to profit by enhancing that dissatisfaction rather than enhancing a person’s sense of self-worth, well-being, and contentment.

Turning the tide

It’s hard work to turn the tide of culture’s impact on the development of eating disorders. Nevertheless, here are some of the things that go against the tide.

  • Tell the right story. A person’s intrinsic worth is not related to their weight.
  • Cultivate thankfulness. The opposite of dissatisfaction is thanksgiving. An active, purposeful habit of looking for things to be thankful for about your body can make the dissatisfaction melt away.
  • Focus less on what your body looks like and more on what it can do.

Canopy Cove is an eating disorder recovery program that helps people to recover from anorexia in a beautiful, peaceful setting. Contact us today to learn more.

Author Archives: madwire

medicaidIf you are looking for residential treatment for an Eating Disorder and have Medicare or Medicaid as your insurance provider, the search can be extremely frustrating. You are likely to find yourself calling center after center only to be told, ‘We don’t accept Medicare or Medicaid”. The good news is that there may be an option for getting coverage. Read below to learn the tips and techniques that have helped other people receive treatment.

Is Inpatient Eating Disorder Treatment the same as Residential Eating Disorder Treatment?

Please note that “Inpatient” treatment is a different level of care than “Residential”. Inpatient treatment is traditionally in a hospital setting, and is focused on medical stabilization. Inpatient Eating Disorder Treatment is provided for a short period of time and is followed by the “residential” level of care. Residential Eating Disorder Treatment while also including medical stabilization, focuses on the recovery from the eating disorder. It’s important to realize that most Medicaid or Medicare policies do offer inpatient coverage.

What steps can I take to get Medicare or Medicaid to cover residential treatment for an Eating Disorder?

Step One: Contact your insurance company and ask to be assigned a Case manager. (This is easier in some companies than others. Remember there are many different companies that provide policies for Medicare and Medicaid and each company has specific policies.) Step Two: Once you have a case manager, tell them, “I need to find a treatment center where I can receive Residential treatment for an Eating Disorder. Can you please help me arrange a single case agreement?” A single case agreement is a onetime contract between the insurance company and the provider.

What’s the role of a case manager?

The case manager is your advocate. S/he must “hand walk” your request for a single case agreement through a process of conversations with managers and supervisors in an attempt to gain an approval. In short, the Case manager is your friend. So be kind and appreciative of their help! Helpful tips  Make notes of every conversation.  Record the name and phone number for every person you speak with.  Be kind and appreciative.  Ask, “When would you expect to know something?” Then Follow up with a call, don’t simply wait for a call back.

What are my options if I can’t get a Single case agreement?

If you’ve gone through the steps and have determined that a single case agreement is not possible, you can pursue the following options. Keep in mind, if you are under 26 years old, you can be added to the insurance policy offered through the employer of either your mother or father.

Financing for Eating Disorder Treatment

If you need help paying for all of your treatment, a portion of treatment, your deductibles or co-pays, financing is available. The cost of Eating Disorder treatment is an investment in your future and that of your family. We’ve partnered with a well-respected finance company that is now providing financing for treatment at Canopy Cove Eating Disorder Treatment Center. You can apply online at by clicking here.

Other financing Options:

You may want to consider using one of the following loan options: Home Equity Loan, 2nd Mortgage, loan against a life insurance policy, loan from one or more family members.


One option for helping with treatment costs is a fundraiser. Online sources such as Fundly and GoFundMe provide an easy way to share the news that you or a loved one is raising funds for treatment. You may also want to contact local churches as they may be able to make a financial contribution.


Often a person’s family is the best resource for finding help with payment for treatment. If possible, numerous family may need to be involved through contributions or financing a portion of treatment costs.

Final Comments:

You may consider combining several of the above options to help you in paying for treatment. Although it can be a challenge to arrange for payment, it’s important to remember that you or your loved one deserves to fully recover from an Eating Disorder.

Author Archives: madwire

self-harmApproximately 25 percent of individuals who suffer from eating disorders like Anorexia, Bulimia or Binge Eating Disorder also participate in self-harming behavior. In many cases, a loved one will first learn about the self-harming behavior and then learn that an eating disorder is also present.

Self-injury, also called self-harm, is the act of deliberately harming one’s own body, examples include cutting or burning. Self-injury is an unhealthy attempt to deal with emotional pain, intense feelings, anger and frustration. It is used to help cope with, block out or release built up feelings and emotions.  Self-harm should be viewed as a symptom of deeper unresolved issues.

Is self-harm the same as a suicide attempt?

For those dealing with an eating disorder self-harm is typically not meant as a suicide attempt. However, it is serious condition that requires assessment by a professional and indicates a need for psychological treatment.

While self-injury may bring a momentary sense of calm and a release of tension, it’s typically followed by guilt and shame as well as the return of painful emotions. Self-harm is often an escalation from previous behaviors and should be seen as an indicator of increased risk for the possibility of more serious and even potentially fatal self-aggressive actions.

What are signs and symptoms of self-harm?

  • Scars, such as from burns or cuts
  • Fresh cuts
  • Scratches, bruises or other wounds
  • Broken bones
  • Keeping sharp objects on hand
  • Wearing long sleeves or long pants, even in hot weather
  • Claiming to have frequent accidents or mishaps
  • Spending a great deal of time alone
  • Difficulties in interpersonal relationships
  • Persistent questions about personal identity, such as “Who am I?” “What am I doing here?”
  • Statements of helplessness, hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Behavioral and emotional instability, impulsivity and unpredictability

What are common forms of self-injury?

One of the most common forms of self-injury is cutting, which involves making cuts or severe scratches on different parts of the body with a sharp object. Most frequently, the arms, legs and front of the torso are the targets of self-injury because these areas can be easily reached and can easily be hidden under clothing. People who self-injure may use more than one method to harm themselves and may utilize any area of the body.

Other common forms of self-harm include:

  • Burning (with lit matches, cigarettes or hot sharp objects like knives)
  • Carving words or symbols on the skin
  • Breaking bones
  • Hitting or punching
  • Piercing the skin with sharp objects
  • Head banging
  • Biting
  • Pulling out hair
  • Persistently picking at or interfering with wound healing

Because self-injury is often an impulsive act, becoming upset or angry, or having increased anxiety, can trigger an urge to self-harm.

Why do people engage in self-injury?

Even though there is the possibility that a self-inflicted injury may result in life-threatening damage, self-injury is not suicidal behavior. Although the person may not recognize the connection, SI usually occurs when facing what seems like overwhelming or distressing feelings. The reasons self-injurers give for this behavior vary:

  • Self-injury temporarily relieves intense feelings, pressure or anxiety
  • Self-injury provides a sense of being real, being alive – of feeling something.
  • Injuring oneself is a way to externalize internal emotional pain – to feel pain on the outside instead of the inside
  • Self-injury is a way to control and manage pain – unlike the pain experienced through physical or sexual abuse
  • Self-injury is a way to break emotional numbness (the self-anesthesia that allows someone to cut without feeling pain)
  • Self-abuse is self-soothing behavior for someone who does not have other means to calm intense emotions
  • Self-loathing – some self-injurers are punishing themselves for having strong feelings (which they were usually not allowed to express as children), or for a sense that somehow they are bad and undeserving (an outgrowth of abuse and a belief that it was deserved)
  • Self-injury followed by tending to wounds is a way to express self-care, to be self-nurturing, for someone who never learned how to do that in a more direct way
  • Harming oneself can be a way to draw attention to the need for help, to ask for assistance in an indirect way
  • Sometimes, self-injury is an attempt to affect others – to manipulate them, make them feel guilty or bad, make them care, or make them go away

What should I do if a loved one is self-harming?

If you or your loved one is actively self-harming, please seek the advice of a healthcare professional.

A trained professional can assist you as you work to overcome the self-harm habit, and can help you develop new coping techniques and strategies to stop self-harming, while also helping you get to the root of why you cut or hurt yourself.

Self-harm doesn’t occur in a vacuum or as a single issue. It’s an outward expression of inner conflict and pain. The path to overcoming self-harm includes identifying the core issues responsible for the self-harm, resolving those issues and the introduction of new coping mechanisms and life management skills.

If the person who is self-harming is a family member, especially if it is your child, it is important to realize that you will need to be prepared to address difficulties in the family. This is not about blame, but rather about learning ways of dealing with problems and communicating better that can help the whole family. When appropriate treatment is provided, full recovery from self-harm is possible.

Canopy Cove’s Christian Based Eating Disorder Treatment Programs offer compassionate, comprehensive treatment for females, males, adolescents, and adults, who are struggling with Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorders and Co-Existing Diabetes, Depression, and Anxiety. Equine-Assisted Therapy is an weekly part of the Recovery process at Canopy Cove.

Author Archives: madwire

images-73Research shows that early and adequate intervention leads to the best clinical outcomes when treating Eating Disorders. According to The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, without treatment, up to twenty percent (20%) of people with serious eating disorders die. With treatment, that number falls to two to three percent (2-3%). While some individuals benefit in an outpatient setting, many people dealing with Anorexia, Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia or EDNOS will require Residential Treatment to overcome their Eating Disorder.

Signs indicating inpatient care is needed for eating disorders:

(If one or more signs are present, please seek a professional evaluation).

  • The person has participated in outpatient care and has not shown improvement.
  • A medical condition is present due to the eating disorder.
  • The person cannot control restricting or purging behaviors without strong supervision.
  • There are trauma issues which would be best dealt with in a residential setting.
  • A secondary diagnosis is present that would benefit from intensive focused treatment.
  • The person is progressing in behaviors (i.e. The addition of a second Eating Disorder behavior, obsessive behaviors, anxiety, self-harm such as cutting, depression)
  • The person is experiencing suicidal ideation.

If you or a loved one are dealing with an Eating Disorder and meet one or more of the above criteria, contact an Eating Disorder specialist for an assessment. Appropriate treatment is vital to ensure that individuals can move forward in life free from the Eating Disorder and avoid the potentially life threatening consequences that Eating Disorders impose.

Call Today to Speak to a Trained Specialist 800-236-7524.

Canopy Cove’s Christian Based Eating Disorder Treatment Programs offer compassionate, comprehensive treatment for females, males, adolescents, and adults, who are struggling with Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorders and Co-Existing Diabetes, Depression, and Anxiety. Equine-Assisted Therapy is an weekly part of the Recovery process at Canopy Cove.

Author Archives: madwire

How to Talk to Your Daughter About an Eating Disorder

If you have a daughter who you suspect might be struggling with an eating disorder, it’s hard to know where to start the conversation. It can feel as if you’re walking on eggshells—on one hand you want to address the problem, and on the other, you fear that you could say the wrong thing and exacerbate it.

Nothing hurts worse than seeing your child suffer, regardless of her age. Most parents would do or give anything to help their child recover from an eating disorder.

It is important to remember that bringing up the subject of an eating disorder with a person who is suffering from one can be a tremendous help. It plants the seed about your concern for what she is doing and brings her focus to the issue. Even though it may be difficult, saying something is better than ignoring a dangerous and painful behavior.

This tip page
canopy-cove-recovery-300x250-3 is designed to guide you through the process of discussing your concerns with your daughter. One day, when she is recovered and healthy once again, she will thank you for the role you played in her recovery.

Dr. Lynda Brogdon, Founder of Canopy Cove Eating Disorder Treatment Center has 25 years’ experience providing treatment to those with Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, and associated Eating Disorders. Below are her suggestions for talking with your daughter.

Schedule a time:

Choose a time to talk when you are calm, not rushed and will not be interrupted. The more you are able to stay composed and centered, the more likely it is that your daughter will be open to listening to you and understand that you truly care and are worried about her health. Be as supportive and kind as you can, but be clear in your concern.

Plan to approach her privately when there is enough time to seriously discuss the issue. 


Write down what you might say ahead of time. Choose 3-5 key points and share them during your talk. You don’t have to follow your notes perfectly, but it helps you to focus and stay on track.

Offer your observations in a caring but direct manner. Try to be as specific as you can regarding your observations and concerns.

Plan how to start.

Something simple like “I have been worried about you because ”, can get the conversation started. Talking directly about your feelings and what you have been noticing is helpful.

Set guidelines for yourself:

Do’s and Don’ts

DO: Choose “concern focused” comments rather than “condemning focused” comments.

Example: Say, I’m concerned about some of the behaviors you are engaging in. Rather than, “You are hurting yourself by bingeing”.

DO: Re-focus the conversation on your concerns and fears and indicate that you do not feel things will change without intervention.

Do express the desire to be of help.


Don’t comment on her weight or appearance.

Don’t get into a power struggle.

Don’t threaten to remove your love or support.

Don’t attempt to shame or blame her in any way.

Don’t offer simple solutions, such as “I wish you would just stop” or “I wish you would just eat”.

Don’t make blanket statements like ‘You have a problem,’ or “You’re ruining your life”

Don’t say anything that will make your daughter defensive.

Don’t argue with your daughter as to whether or not she has an eating disorder – this will not help.

Create a healthy tone for the talk:

Ensure that any comments you are about to make come from a place of concern and love.  Before your talk, develop a healthy tone for your talk by asking yourself the following questions.

  • What do I want my daughter to think? (i.e. Recovery from an Eating Disorder is possible).
  • What do I want my daughter to feel? (i.e. I want her to feel supported and loved)
  • What do I want my daughter to do? (i.e. I want my daughter to agree to discuss her situation with an Eating Disorder Specialist; I want her to consider seeking treatment)

Plan for the “expected”

Plan how you will end your talk. i.e. I wanted to ask if you would please consider: reading some information and scheduling to talk again, speak to a specialist that I’ve connected with.

Plan and be prepared to take a break if necessary. Be ready with a helpful comment such as “Why don’t we take a break and have some time to process what we’ve talked about and then talk again in 30 minutes, an hour, tomorrow afternoon.”

If “talking” isn’t going well, consider other ways to communicate. Examples include emailing back and forth while in the same room, writing back and forth on a pad of paper.

Important Considerations:

It is very important that loved ones know that those dealing with an Eating Disorder are often “Anosognosic”. This means they are blocked in their own minds from seeing the gravity of the illness or the risk of the behaviors. This condition presents a treatment challenge, but is reversible. With full nutrition and normalized eating and behaviors, the patient can regain self-awareness and engage in therapy to develop insight, motivation and coping skills.

When to intervene? Often a person with an Eating Disorder will be in denial and unable to acknowledge the severity of their situation. When this is the case, their loved ones are confronted with the need to decide if they should remain passive and risk permanent consequences or death, or intervene to persuade their loved one to seek treatment.

If you need guidance encouraging your loved one to agree to treatment, please contact us for suggestions and tips.  1-800-236-7524