Six Strategies for Eating Disorder Treatments

Eating disorders are complex conditions with multiple contributing factors, so it should come as no surprise that treatment can also be complicated. There are several options to consider when being treated for an eating disorder, and they usually work best when you combine several (or all) of them. Here are five of the most helpful options.

1. Education

Many people who have eating disorders don't even realize they have one, or they don't realize the severity of their condition. While some people are genuinely in denial, others are just ill-informed. Arm yourself with as much information as possible.

2. Motivation

While you should absolutely seek help for your eating disorder, don't forget that your attitude is going to make a big contribution to your recovery. Focus on fostering your sense of self-worth. Journaling, meditation, artistic expression, and working towards goals can help you find a reason for living and healing yourself.

3. Nutrition

Naturally, an essential goal for anyone with an eating disorder is to settle into a healthy weight. This should be done under the supervision of health care professionals, but nutrition should become the underlying focus of your eating habits rather than your appearance or ability to control your body.

4. Medication

For some sufferers, medication can be a helpful tool in the short term to help you get your disorder under control, or for the long term in helping you sustain recovery. Eating disorders are often triggered when emotions become overwhelming, so antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication may be able to help take the edge off those emotions. Doctors may also consider whether you might benefit from an appetite stimulant or suppressant.

5. Therapy

For a long time, people thought eating disorders were about making bad choices. Now we realize that eating disorders are a mental illness, not an option. When you first discuss your eating disorder with your health care professional, she will probably put you in touch with specialists. In addition to physical treatment, experts will likely refer you to a psychotherapist, behavioral therapist, group therapy, or some kind of counseling to help you deal with the mental issues.

6. Support

A sound support system is often the difference between success and failure when it comes to people struggling with mental illness. It is no different for people suffering from eating disorders. If you feel your family and friends don't give you the kind of support you need, ask your therapist or doctor about local support groups. Even finding an online support group can be immensely beneficial.

Other areas that might help are art therapy, music therapy, exposure to nature, yoga, and chiropractic care.

Sources: Very Well Mind, McCallum Place, Psych Central, Mote Nido

Photo: Pexels

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