Rehab Can be the Answer for an Eating Disorder

Eating disorders are serious illnesses that may be fatal if left untreated. Eating disorders cause issues with a person’s eating behavior which may include obsessions with food, body issues, extreme efforts to control weight, calorie restricting and more.

There are numerous different types of eating disorders. The most common eating disorders include bulimia nervosa, binge eating and anorexia nervosa. There are many treatment options and facilities available for people who are suffering from an eating disorder. Keep reading to find out more about treatment options.

Eating Disorder Treatments

There are many treatment options for eating disorders. Eating disorders may require a variety of different treatment approaches depending on the nature of the eating disorder, the severity of the disorder and any other mental illnesses. A treatment approach that works for one person with an eating disorder may not work for another. Treatment for an eating disorder is based on the individual’s needs and goals.

Treatment for certain eating disorders including anorexia and bulimia is often available at medical care centers, private rehabilitation clinics, and community facilities. Treatment may be inpatient or outpatient depending on the severity of the disorder.

Outpatient Eating Disorders Treatment

Outpatient treatment is often a first step in eating disorders treatment. Health professionals can assess the patient and determine if inpatient care is required. Outpatient care allows for patients to continue with their daily lives including work and school while allowing them to get treatment for their disorder. Outpatient treatment may include a healthcare team that is made up of a therapist, nutritionist, and medical doctor. Treatment may occur 1 to 3 times a week. Outpatient treatment is a good option for people who do not have insurance.

Intensive Outpatient Eating Disorders Treatment

Intensive outpatient eating disorders treatment is a more thorough type of outpatient treatment that gives a greater level of support than typical outpatient treatment. It allows for patients to continue with their daily lives and responsibilities while getting an intensive level of care. Treatment may include individualized therapy, nutritional counseling, family support groups, medical doctor checkups and more. Intensive outpatient treatment may take place 2 to 5 times a week.

Residential Eating Disorders Treatment

Residential eating disorders treatment takes place at a live-in facility. Patients are provided with constant medical care. Residential treatment programs are generally very structured and provide patients with a wide variety of therapy and treatments. Patients are monitored and receive individualized treatment based on their specific needs which may include nutritional counseling, medical doctor examinations, medications, individualized therapy, group therapy and more.

Inpatient Eating Disorders Treatment

Inpatient eating disorders treatment takes place in a setting not dissimilar to a hospital. Patients are treated to become medically stable. This includes preventing further weight loss and stabilizing the body. Inpatient eating disorder treatment stays are often less than three weeks and patients are typically discharged out to a good residential treatment facility.

Continuing Care

Continuing care treatment is very important in helping patients to stay healthy and get the support needed for recovery. Continuing care is generally part of a discharge plan from an inpatient or residential program. Treatment plans are based on the patient’s individual needs and may include therapy sessions, nutritional counseling, medication, support groups and more.

Common Types of Therapies

There are many types of therapy that may be used in treating eating disorders. A few of the most common therapies used include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
    • A form of psychotherapy that focuses on changing negative thinking patterns.
    • Focuses on healthy ways to cope with a person's emotions and problematic beliefs.
  • Medical nutritional therapy
    • A holistic treatment method that may include customized food and meal plans developed with a dietician.
    • Focuses on patient education, diet modification and more.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
    • A form of treatment through psychotherapy that connects cognitive and behavioral methods.
    • Seeks positive coping skills including mindfulness for emotional instability and negative thoughts.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
    • Focuses on being aware of emotions and experiences.
    • Can help patients to recognize when thoughts and urges are caused by their illness.

There are many other therapies that have been shown to help people suffering from eating disorders including art therapy, dance movement therapy, equine therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, family therapy, support groups, talk therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy and more.

If you believe that you or someone you love may be struggling with an eating disorder, you should speak with your doctor. There are many resources available online that can allow you to find eating disorders counselors, health clinics, and treatment facilities.

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