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Understanding Eating Disorder Treatment Options

Eating disorders—anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating, compulsive overeating and food addictions— can do ruinous damage to every facet of your life. Many who suffer from eating disorders have spent years seeking therapy and yet they continually struggle to control of the disease. Many therapists have limited real-life experience with eating disorders and oftentimes address the patients’ relationship with food rather than their relationship with themselves: mind, body, feelings and emotions. Sometimes, an eating disorder treatment program within a facility is the best opportunity to address eating disorders and their root cause and to get the comprehensive help and recovery needed.

Treatment facilities are varied but most have similar options and plans:
• Treatment facilities span the spectrum of disordered eating, some offer treatment for multiple eating disorders, while others focus on anorexia nervosa treatment, bulimia nervosa treatment or other specialized treatment.
• There are recovery centers that are women only or men only as well as those geared towards children.
• Each facility typically has a staff of medical doctors, registered nurses, therapists, dietitians and volunteers that offer recovery assistance on a daily basis.
• Most centers will offer different levels of inpatient or outpatient treatment programs.
• Every person is different, much like every eating disorder; therefore, each person requires an individualized recovery program.

Why an In-Patient Program?
The severity and duration of the eating disorder, as well as the presence of co-occurring disorders, dictate the eating disorder treatment program that has the best chance of securing recovery. Depending on the facility, inpatient care may consist of different levels of recovery known as “extended care,” “residential living,” “Recovery Living” or some variation. As an inpatient, the patient lives at the eating disorder treatment housing facility for a certain period of time, which can range from a couple of weeks to several months. Each facility will have its own recovery regimen that dictates the client’s activities and therapy schedules during their stay. Who might benefit from in-patient recovery:

• Inpatient treatment is for people who find it difficult to maintain their recovery when they are alone, especially at night and is an important first state of an eating disorder treatment program.
• It is usually the appropriate treatment option for individuals in early remission or with chronic bouts with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.
• Inpatient treatment programs address the issues at the root of the eating disorder and helps establish the preventative measures needed for life-time recovery.

The goal of inpatient treatment is to replace self-sabotaging with new methods of coping. This type of eating disorder treatment program facilitates an easier transition back into day-to-day living

While, not all programs are the same, all share the same goal: healthy recovery. Regardless of where someone chooses to get treatment, we as a community applaud and encourage their journey. It is not about this place or that place; most of us are in the battle, we are one in the war against eating disorders. Together, we can create awareness about body image and self-acceptance. The best place for recovery is wherever someone finds it.

This article was contributed by Rebecca’s House, a treatment facility that specializes in eating disorder treatment programs.

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