Eating disorders present numerous treatment challenges, but there is no question that they can be treated successfully. One of the biggest challenges is the simple fact that eating is necessary to survival, and teasing apart the emotional, cognitive, and self-image aspects of the eating disorder from the reality of everyday nutritional requirements is difficult.
Furthermore, particularly with anorexia, patients may deny that they have a serious problem or that their eating disorder endangers their health. The three main types of eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating; treatment must be highly personalized in order to succeed. Here is some information on top treatment options for eating disorders.
Medical Treatment Often Needed for Concurrent Health Problems
Treatment for eating disorders often includes treatment for the many medical problems that can accompany eating disorders. Some of these, like electrolyte imbalances and dehydration, can be life-threatening. That is one reason why inpatient rehab is often necessary for treatment of eating disorders.
Since eating disorders are frequently diagnosed along with other psychiatric diseases like depression, anxiety, and substance addiction, medical treatment for those co-occurring disorders should take place at the same time to minimize the chance of a relapse.
Family Counseling and Eating Disorders
The importance of family support in treatment of eating disorders cannot be overstated. After all, it is possible to rid the home of alcohol or illicit substances, but a home without food in it is unusual. What is more, everyday tasks like grocery shopping and food preparation must be addressed during treatment, on the individual and family level.
While full recovery from an eating disorder is possible, relapse can happen too, sometimes months or years after successful treatment. Therefore, eating disorder treatment must address family dynamics so relapses can be prevented or recognized early and dealt with quickly.
A Comprehensive Treatment Plan Is Essential
Eating disorders are multi-dimensional and complex, and so is treatment for them. A treatment team may consist of not only mental health professionals, but also a general practice physician to monitor bodily health, a registered dietitian, and sometimes dental specialists if an eating disorder (like bulimia) has resulted in dental problems. Treatment must address all aspects of an eating disorder as well as any co-occurring diseases like substance abuse. Moreover, treatment team members should be committed to excellent communication, both with the patient and with each other.
The Advantages of Inpatient Rehab for Eating Disorders
Inpatient rehab can be the best treatment choice for eating disorders, especially when eating disorders are accompanied by addiction. Not only can patients address all aspects of their condition, they are surrounded by 24-hour care in the event of a medical complication. Inpatient rehab does not just treat disordered eating behavior and addictive behavior, but includes counseling on psychological issues, nutrition, and daily activities that many people take for granted, such as food preparation. While these issues can all be addressed on an outpatient basis, many people with eating disorders find that comprehensive inpatient treatment is most efficient and effective.
Eating disorders present treatment challenges, and are often accompanied by other mental illnesses (like depression) or addictions. Successful recovery from an eating disorder requires addressing all the issues surrounding disordered eating, including body image, self-esteem, and the self-care aspects of food preparation. Inpatient rehab can be the best choice for treatment of eating disorders due to the complexity and intensity involved with treatment. If you would like to know more about inpatient rehab for eating disorders with or without co-occurring addictions, we encourage you to contact us at any time. Help is here any time you need it.