Residential Anorexia Treatment in Beautiful Malaysia

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is a serious mental illness that affects approximately 4-8% of young people and often has devastating consequences. Anorexia is most often diagnosed between ages 14 and 25 and affects all sexes and genders.

Teens and young people diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa will often restrict their energy intake, leading to low body weight and medical complications. Young people living with AN may have a fear of weight gain, restrict food or liquids, have a disturbed body image, exercise too often, and be preoccupied by food and meal times. Avoiding food groups, eating smaller portions, dieting and experiencing discomfort at mealtimes may be some of the early signs of AN that parents notice.

Excessive restriction can lead to starvation and malnutrition – AN has one of the highest mortality rates in psychiatric conditions. Teens and young people diagnosed are most likely to succeed in tackling their Eating Disorders in programs that are designed for young people and where they can take part in activities that address their individual needs.

We are here to help

The Wave Eating Disorder Admissions Team can be contacted on:

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The Wave Clinic: Specialists in Teen Eating Disorders
+60 327 271 799 (General Enquiries)
+60 125 227 734 (Admissions)

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The Wave International Group LLC
+971 438 354 01

Qualified to Help

Treatment for Anorexia

With a supportive, caring environment and a solid treatment programme, young people can recover from Anorexia Nervosa.

The Wave team are all trained in Eating Disorders. From the Kitchen to the Board, our team is all trained by The Inside Out Institute. Our Professional team have extensive training and supervision in Eating Disorders and are members of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals. The Wave team are trained in:

  • Mentalization-Based Therapy (MBT) for Eating Disorders 
  • Enhanced Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT-E)
  • Family-Based Treatment (FBT)
  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) for Eating Disorders
  • Internal Family Systems Model (IFS)
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Somatic Therapy
  • Yoga for Eating Disorders
  • Trauma and Tension Release Exercises (TRE)
  • Art Therapy for Eating Disorders.

The Wave has a highly specialised treatment program for young people living with eating disorders. Every member of The Wave treatment team is trained in the care and management of eating disorders and is experienced in treating complex cases with love, fun, and comfort. 

At The Wave, we know that getting well from an eating disorder can be challenging. We know that living with an eating disorder is difficult and often lonely. Treatment is an opportunity to recover, enjoy new friendships, and build a wonderful gap-year portfolio of life experiences. 

Having worked with families from 49 countries, The Wave is the choice of parents and children from the UK, USA, UAE, Singapore, Europe, and beyond.

Signs and Symptoms of Anorexia in Teens

Anorexia Nervosa causes teenagers to avoid food, tightly restrict food, or only eat very small quantities of specific foods. You may also notice them weighing themselves regularly, and viewing themselves as overweight, even when they are dangerously underweight.

There are two subtypes of anorexia nervosa: a “restrictive” subtype and a “binge-purge” subtype.

Anorexia Nervosa: Restricting Subtype 

The restricting subtype of anorexia nervosa is identified with severe restricting of energy through the intake of food and//or liquids, possibly in addition to excessive exercise. This is followed by weight loss. With the restricting subtype, no episodes of purging or self-induced vomiting have been reported in the last three months.

Anorexia Nervosa: Binge-Purge Subtype

With the binge-purge subtype, young people may consume more food than they intended to or feel excessively guilty for eating. This is followed by self-induced vomiting or purging, laxative use, diuretic use, enemas, or over-exercise. Sometimes young people will utilise a variety of these behaviours, which can further increase the danger.

Anorexia Nervosa can often move between subtypes, so it is important for parents to be aware and attentive to changes in behaviour.

Diagnosing Anorexia

At The Wave, we use a range of thorough diagnostic approaches, informed by the DSM-5 to ascertain the presence of Anorexia Nervosa. We may also observe the young person’s behaviour and conduct a medical assessment for low weight, malnutrition, and growth delay.

Treatment decisions at The Wave are made by our multidisciplinary team of treatment professionals. Every young person at The Wave has a Lead Psychiatrist, Medical Officer, Psychiatric Nurse, Primary Eating Disorder Therapist, Recovery Associate, Recovery Coach, Dietician and team of Chefs. Treatment is overseen by The Wave Medical Director and Clinical Director. 

The Wave Team use the criteria for admission set out in NICE Guidelines on the treatment of Eating Disorders (National Institute of Clinical Excellence, U.K)

The criteria for immediate admission usually apply when a young person is:

  • They are physically unstable, and medical stabilisation is required
  • They have engaged in prior outpatient treatments without lasting success
  • They are currently restricting their diet
  • They have an unstable weight trend
  • Their weight loss is equal to or greater than 0.5kg per week
  • When bradycardia (slow heart rate) is present
  • When ECGs indicate a prolonged Q interval
  • They do not have 24-hour care at home
  • There is a co-occurring diagnosis.

The Wave does not use BMI as a criterion for admission. The Severity of Eating Disorders cannot be seen and is not related to BMI or weight.

“I came to The Wave about 2 ½ years ago, and I can’t speak highly enough about their service, support, and love I received (and still do) from the team. They have helped me build stable foundations for a life that now feels worth living. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without their amazing help, and I am lucky enough to call them my family.”

Hope, Healing, and Balance

Our Specialised Programs for Teens

We provide expert care for young people classified as high-risk, extremely high-risk, and moderate to mildly severe risk. We tailor our approach to each individual to ensure that they’re getting the precise level of care they need.

The Wave Indigo Program specialises in the treatment of young people classified as high-risk or extremely high-risk. Our team of medical specialists is able to provide dedicated care for young people with increased needs. The facility is complete with ECG machines and labs for around-the-clock monitoring. The Wave Indigo Program has four Intensive Care Beds beautifully appointed for young people with the highest level of needs. Teens and young adults may require chair or bed rest with one-to-one care to assist with medical stabilisation.

The Wave Fuchsia Program provides complete care for young people with a BMI of 16-16.99 who do not otherwise meet the criteria for admission to Indigo Program (this includes recent risk of self harm & recent thoughts of suicide).

The Violet Program is for teens with a BMI of 16.99 -17.5, who do not otherwise meet the criteria for admission to a higher level of care.

Anorexia therapies and treatment options

Recovering from Anorexia Nervosa

During a young person’s stay with us, they’ll experience a range of therapies and treatment options. Some of our most popular include:

One-to-One Therapy

During their stay at The Wave, each young person will meet regularly with a dedicated therapist. These sessions offer a safe space for young people to open up, share any issues that are troubling them, and identify the root of their condition. Young people are also encouraged to learn how to manage their feelings and develop healthy coping mechanisms, behavioural patterns, and associations with food.

Group Therapy

At The Wave, we place a strong emphasis on team spirit and building relationships. Building a strong support network is important for both their time at The Wave, and the transition back into their communities at home. This is one reason that so many of our activities and therapies are focused on cultivating relationships.

Although many young people find it a little daunting to open up, group therapy is a great way to learn from others on a similar journey. Young people at The Wave often find that group therapy enables them to form long-lasting friendships with other people. Hearing from others who’ve battled an eating disorder shows our young people that they’re not alone and gives them the chance to hear how others cope with the condition. Group therapy also provides a greater sense of accountability, as everyone will have each other’s backs.

Eating Disorder-Informed Yoga

Eating disorder-informed yoga is gentle and non-aerobic, making it ideal for those with anorexia, who may have experienced malnutrition.

Eating disorder-informed yoga offers a gentle, controlled workout that focuses on the mind rather than just the body. During sessions, young people are guided through different movements, each designed to help them develop emotional awareness and trust in their bodies. It’s all about developing healthy habits that allow young people to regain ownership over their bodies, and reminding people that they are in control – not their eating disorder.

Alternative Therapies

At The Wave, we offer a range of alternative therapies to enhance wellness and promote healing from the inside out; from dance and art therapy to reiki and mindfulness. Natural healing treatments can relieve stress, calm the autonomic nervous system, and help people to manage negative emotions and those moments when they feel like slipping back into old habits.

Creative therapies like art, dance, and drama offers the chance to express emotions and let go of negative associations with food. These therapies also help many develop new skills, and find joy in new hobbies that they can continue once they’ve left our clinic – ideal for channelling their energy into something creative.

Gardening Groups

Known as horticultural therapy, our gardening group programmes offer the opportunity to garden and tend to their own bed of flowers and plants. This ownership gives young people responsibility, empowering them to look after the seeds they’ve sown. Not only does this show them the power of care and compassion, but these skills can also be directly translated into how they look after themselves.

Flowers take time to grow, but they flourish with the right care and support, just like young people in recovery. We also offer young people the opportunity to plant fruits and vegetables, enabling them to be involved with food from the moment it’s planted.

Family Therapy​

Anorexia Nervosa can affect the whole family, and it can sometimes be difficult for loved ones to fully understand what a young person is going through and why. Our family therapy sessions offer a safe space for everyone to open up, voice their feelings and concerns, and better understand one another.

Nutritional Programmes​

During a young person’s stay at The Wave, they are given a personalised nutritional programme tailored to their specific needs. This ensures that those in recovery from an eating disorder get all the vitamins and minerals they need to stay strong and recover. We also offer a wide range of education on nutrition, food groups, and how nutrition affects the body.

Over time, young people in our care gradually learn to develop healthy and regular eating patterns and meal planning. We take everything at the the individual’s own pace, helping them adjust to the changes smoothly.

Frequently asked questions

Anorexia FAQ's

Teens and young people benefit from early intervention in eating disorders. The Team at The Wave are trained in FREED (Kings’ College, London) which advocates for early intervention. Eating Disorders that are treated early in the course of the illness have a far better long term recovery rate.

No, The Wave Eating Disorder programs accept direct referrals from parents and from young people themselves. We also work with an extensive panel of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, Therapists, Family Lawyers and schools. We will begin a thorough assessment of needs and help you to choose the right eating disorder treatment for your young person and family.

Severe and Enduring Eating Disorders affect about 20% of young people previously diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa. There is no set time frame that defines Eating Disorders that become long-standing illnesses, although treatment professionals usually look at Eating Disorders that have been active for three years and over and have had multiple treatment attempts. Treatment of Eating Disorders is complex and the earlier that treatment is started, the higher the likelihood of full recovery. 

Professional associations and memberships

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    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    London, United Kingdom