If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, enrolling at a treatment center is often the best way to jump-start recovery. Eating disorders are incredibly complex and multi-faceted. There are dietary and physical health concerns, but also strong mental health elements that need to be addressed. It's usually easier to treat these various aspects of the eating disorder when the patient is removed from their ordinary home environment and responsibilities.
Another reason eating disorder centers are effective, though, is that they use an array of tactics and strategies. Some of these strategies are used on all patients; others are only used on patients with certain symptoms or habits.
So many eating disorders are rooted in undiagnosed, untreated depression. So, prescribing antidepressant medications can be a good first step towards recovery. In an eating disorder clinic, the doctors can work with a patient to find the best medication and the ideal dose for their needs.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This type of talk therapy can help patients uncover what triggers their eating disorder behavior. It can then give them new, healthier ways of dealing with those triggers. Often, this type of therapy takes place individually. However, family members may be brought in to certain sessions to learn how they can better support the patient in their new, healthy responses to triggers.
Eating disorders are not caused by a poor understanding of diet. In fact, most eating disorder patients are very knowledgeable about nutrition! So, dietary counseling in eating disorder clinics usually centers around re-framing the patient's idea of what a healthy meal looks like. Each patient is typically prescribed their own meal plan, which they need to follow as they pursue recovery. The dietitian may also give the patients tactics they can use to increase their calorie intake, keep food down, and so forth.
Simply knowing they are not alone can really help an eating disorder patient work towards recovery. Group therapy sessions are usually a chance for patients to share what they are struggling with and receive support and understanding from other patients. The group leader is usually a therapist, who may guide the group through certain activities and healing protocols.
Every eating disorder is different, and every clinic is different. However, if you choose to enroll in an eating disorder clinic, you can expect to be offered some or all of these strategies as a part of your healing plan.