Eating Disorder Treatment Program Options
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Someone suffering from an eating disorder has an unhealthy relationship with food that is interfering with many areas of everyday life. A person may eat little to no food, eat excessively large amounts of food, be obsessed with thoughts of food or exercise, and have a distorted body image. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fifth edition (DSM-V) recognizes four main eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). The signs of an eating disorder will vary and may include refusal to eat, excessive exercise, social withdrawal, self-induced vomiting or binge eating.

Symptoms of an eating disorder can quickly become life-threatening. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, sufferers of anorexia are 18 times more likely to die prematurely, so getting treatment for an eating disorder is extremely important. If you are, or someone you love is, starting to show signs of an eating disorder, call today. We are available 24/7 to help you find treatment options that will fit your needs.

What Causes Eating Disorders?

As with many mental disorders, no single cause exists for eating disorders. Generally, the cause can be a combination of many factors, which may include:

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Is There a Cure for Eating Disorders?

No simple cure exists for eating disorders, but treatment is available, and recovery is possible. Through a combination of therapy, nutritional education and medical treatment, the symptoms of an eating disorder can be managed or eliminated. Unfortunately, only one in 10 people with an eating disorder receives treatment, but true recovery is possible. Early diagnosis and treatment significantly increase your chances of recovery, so if you or someone you love is battling an eating disorder, call to explore available treatment options. Confused about your eating patterns? A Do I Have An Eating Disorder Quiz can provide some answers.

Therapies for Eating Disorders

Treatment for an eating disorder will depend on the specifics of the disorder and will be tailored to each individual. Generally, the goals of eating disorder treatment are to restore the person to a healthy weight, treat any psychological problems related to or coexisting with the disorder, and reduce behaviors or thoughts that contribute to the eating disorder. Treatment must address all aspects of the disorder, including psychological and medical components. Continuing therapy may be needed to prevent relapse and treat related psychological problems.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often a component of eating disorder treatment. This type of therapy is very structured and often takes 10 to 20 sessions. It may be done individually, in a group or with family. Cognitive behavioral therapy is goal-oriented and focuses on changing unhealthy thought patterns, leading to changes in behavior. CBT is considered the treatment of choice for eating disorders and is frequently combined with other treatment options.

Nutritional Counseling

Nutritional counseling is an essential component of eating disorder treatment. An eating disorder distorts the sufferer’s perceptions of a healthy diet, and nutritional counselors will help you form an eating plan that will allow you to maintain a healthy weight. Dietitians can help to instill normal eating habits. Underweight or overweight patients may benefit from a medically supervised diet to return them to a healthy weight. Nutritional counseling is an important part of recovery and long-term success.


Psychotherapy can help sufferers to explore the causes and thought processes behind their eating disorder, as well as to assist on the road to recovery. Psychotherapy may also help improve relationships and teach ways to cope with stress and problem-solving techniques. Psychotherapy is important in treating any other existing mental disorders, such as depression or anxiety, that may be contributing to the eating disorder. Up to 50 percent of people suffering from eating disorders also meet the criteria for depression, so treating any coexisting mental conditions may make the difference in successful treatment.

Medically Assisted Treatment

Many patients are extremely underweight at the start of treatment, so medical attention may be needed. Symptoms of an eating disorder may quickly become life-threatening, and the first and most important step in treatment is to get the person to a healthy weight and to treat any serious medical problems. Chronic anorexia may cause damage to the heart, anemia, low blood pressure or organ failure, so an evaluation and continuing treatment by a medical doctor is essential.

Other Therapeutic Methods

Medications may be used in the treatment of an eating disorder to help curb urges or lessen obsessive thoughts about food, exercise or body image. Medication may also be used to treat coexisting mental conditions that may be underlying the eating disorder. These medications may include antidepressants or anti-anxiety agents. In some cases, hospitalization in a medical ward may be necessary. Residential eating disorder treatment centers can also be helpful in many cases.

Family-based therapy is an effective treatment for children and teens who show signs of an eating disorder. This kind of therapy assumes that the family will be involved in the eating patterns and habits of the child, and it seeks to educate the entire family in supporting the child with an eating disorder. Our trained advisers are available 24/7 to help you find treatment options on eating disorder that fit your family. Call today.

Residential Inpatient Eating Disorder Treatment Center

Residential treatment of an eating disorder may be a treatment option for some people, especially those who have tried outpatient therapy unsuccessfully. Residential treatment offers a structured environment for patients to focus on learning healthy habits without all the stresses of the outside world. Inpatient treatment in a hospital setting may be required when the eating disorder has caused physical issues. Eating disorders can quickly become life-threatening, so careful medical monitoring by a doctor is essential for a successful recovery. If you think a residential treatment program may be right for you, call to explore treatment options.

The Benefits of Residential Eating Disorder Treatments

Residential treatment programs can have many benefits to those suffering from an eating disorder. Being in a controlled environment can help patients break unhealthy habits and compulsive behaviors. Because patients see a therapist or counselor on a daily basis, treatment may be more effective and progress can be closely monitored. A team of medical professionals is available to treat all aspects of the disorder, and being in a supportive environment where patients are surrounded by people going through similar struggles may help them cope with the changes in their lives.

Residential treatment removes a patient from factors that may have caused the eating disorder in the first place, such as dysfunctional family relationships and negative influences, allowing the patient to devise ways to cope with these issues after leaving the facility. Moreover, residential treatment removes the stresses of everyday life, letting the patient fully focus on recovery.

Luxury Eating Disorder Facilities

Luxury facilities may help to offset the stress that comes with eating disorder treatment. Facilities are available with everything from beachfront views and gourmet chefs to fully equipped gyms and spa facilities. This type of treatment is ideal for those who are used to the finer things in life. If you are, or someone you love is, starting to show signs of an eating disorder, call today. We are available 24/7 to help you find treatment options that will fit your needs. To see if your insurance provider covers eating disorder treatment, visit our insurance coverage for eating disorders page.

Executive Eating Disorder Programs

According to Forbes, a large residential treatment network has reported a 42-percent increase of older women seeking treatment in the past five years. Because of this increase of career-aged women seeking help, a specific type of treatment center is becoming more readily available. Executive treatment centers are designed for those who may have been successful in other areas of life, such as career or family, but who need help with an eating disorder. Such programs are often scaled down to a shorter time period and designed for those who have other demands on their life, such as a busy career. Call today for help finding an executive eating disorder treatment program.

Outpatient Eating Disorder Rehab and Treatment Programs

Outpatient eating disorder treatment may be a better option for those who are busy with a job, school or family. Often, outpatient treatment is the first method tried after the patient is first evaluated. The goal is to find the lowest level of care that will address the severity of the illness. If inpatient treatment or hospitalization is required, outpatient therapy may continue after release. The therapist or counselor will usually work together with a medical doctor and dietitian to come up with a treatment plan that addresses the patient’s specific needs and concerns. The level of care should meet the needs of the patient and will depend on the severity of the eating disorder.

Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications

Diet pills, laxatives and diuretics are often abused by those suffering from an eating disorder. The misuse of these drugs can be dangerous. Over-the-counter diuretics and laxatives can cause dangerous dehydration. The misuse of diet pills can cause rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, kidney problems, stroke, heart failure or even death. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned several dangerous stimulants that were commonly found in over-the-counter diet pills, but the ban does not apply to herbal preparations or teas, so extreme care should be taken when taking any over-the-counter diet product. During and after treatment, patients should be monitored for the use of these drugs and be warned against the dangers that may result from their use.

How to Find the Best Eating Disorder Treatment Facility

An eating disorder is difficult to manage or treat on your own. The chances of recovery for someone suffering from an eating disorder are greatly increased by finding the right treatment approach. Each person has specific needs, strengths and weaknesses that should be taken into account when devising an individual treatment plan. Chances of recovery are greatly increased by early identification and treatment, so if you are, or someone you love is, showing signs and symptoms of an eating disorder, call today. Our trained advisers are available 24/7 to help you find the best treatment options for you. The sooner you begin treatment, the sooner you will be on the road to recovery. Feeling anxious? Identify areas to work on to manage your anxiety with an online anxiety quiz.