How can you locate treatment for an eating disorder?
Eating disorders are a severe yet fairly common issue here in America: the National Eating Disorders Association approximates that 20 million women and 10 million men will experience some form of an eating disorder at some point in their lifetimes. While eating disorders are serious illnesses that affect someone both mentally and physically, they are also treatable. They can come with a myriad of complications, and have a profound effect on every organ system and one’s physical appearance.
Types of Eating Disorder Treatments
There are several different types of eating disorder treatments available; the National Eating Disorders Association separates them into different levels of care. The type of treatment your healthcare provider may recommend you seek out will likely depend on the particulars of your situation; it can range anywhere from intensive outpatient treatment to inpatient hospitalization.
Physicians tend to recommend intensive outpatient/outpatient treatment for medically stable individuals who do not require daily monitoring; these patients are also psychiatrically stable and are able to function normally in educational, vocational, and social settings while making progress on their recovery. Partial hospitalization is generally the go-to for patients who are medically stable, but their eating disorder impairs their functioning, although there is no immediate risk. These patients also require daily assessments of their mental and physiologic states. These patients may also be psychiatric stable, but cannot function normally in social, vocational, or educational situations; they may also binge, purge, fast, or engage in otherwise pathogenic weight control efforts on a daily basis. Residential treatment is generally used for medically stable patients who are psychiatrically impaired and cannot respond to outpatient treatment or partial hospitalization. Finally, inpatient treatment is usually reserved for patients who are medically and/or psychiatrically unstable.
Additionally, there are several types of psychotherapy you may want to consider seeking out. Options include cognitive remediation therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, family-based treatment, evidence-based treatment, psychodynamic psychotherapy, as well as interpersonal psychotherapy. It is important, however, to remember that different types of psychotherapy approaches have different pros and cons for different individuals.
How to Find Eating Disorder Treatment Near You
Eating Disorder Hope has a page that allows you to locate eating disorder treatment by state, using an interactive map. For each state, they list anywhere from a few to several treatment resources that you can easily reach.
You may also choose to contact a hotline. The National Eating Disorders Association lists a few different ways to contact a hotline that includes texting, calling, as well as instant messaging. If you or a loved one is in a state of crisis, you can also text “NEDA” to 741-741 and reach a properly trained volunteer at the Crisis Text Line.
Eating Disorder Recovery
The National Eating Disorders Association suggests viewing recovery from an eating disorder as five stages of change: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. In the first stage–pre-contemplation–you may not be convinced you have an eating disorder just yet, though your loved ones are likely to have noticed you do. In the contemplation stage, you are willing to admit that you have an eating disorder and are prepared to receive treatment for it. You will know you are moving into the preparation stage when you feel ready to change, but are not yet sure of how to proceed. During this stage, it is important to establish effective coping skills.
The penultimate action stage starts when you feel ready to put your strategy into action and confront your eating disorder; you can ensure this stage is successful by trusting your support network and treatment team. The final stage is called maintenance stage, though it can also be called the maintenance/relapse stage. You will have reached this stage once you have kept up the action stage for about six months or more; a major aspect of this stage is also revisiting things that may trigger you in an effort to prevent relapse, as well as finding new interests.
The National Eating Disorders Association also lists a possible sixth stage, called the termination stage and relapse prevention. During this stage, you may come to learn that it is time to stop treatment; it is also important to remember to always ask for help when you need it in order to best prevent a potential relapse.