If you are looking for help and up to date information on eating disorders, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll tell you how to find the right eating disorder treatment for you, try to answer all your questions, and provide you with all the eating disorder information you need, including some relevant eating disorder statistics that may shock you. This site will help you understand the causes of eating disorders as well as how to get treatment. We want you to be fully informed so you can begin the healing process.
Getting Eating Disorder Help
If you are worried that you have an eating disorder you’re probably feeling anxious, confused, overwhelmed, and scared. All of these feelings are common when we are seeking treatment, imagining what this process will entail, and possibly feeling the effects of malnutrition on your brain and body. The human body uses food and nutrition in order to build itself, function properly and deal with stress. Eating disorders have both physical and mental effects even if you have not lost any weight. That’s right, although many people with eating disorders suffer the symptom of weight loss – you can be at any weight and still have a serious eating disorder that deserves support! Eating disorders, like people, come in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, gender identities, physical abilities, and financial backgrounds. Here is more on who gets eating disorders.
You might not know where to turn and you might feel like nobody understands. We do, and there is help available to you. You just have to take that first step and reach out. It’s natural for this process to feel distressing and overwhelming. It can take a lot of courage to ask for help and begin to make a big change in your life. Eating disorders often come into our lives as a way to help us cope with something difficult and over time they tend to cause more harm. It can be challenging to let go of something that was once helpful or has become so familiar. You can take it one step at a time and you don’t have to go through this alone.
Start by talking to a loved one about how you are feeling and the thoughts you are having around food and your body. While it can be important to have your support system by your side, they might not know what to say or how to help. Consider asking them to assist you with finding an eating disorder specialist. It’s recommended to work with both a therapist and a registered dietitian who understands how to help you recover. Your doctor or counselor may also be able to refer you to a specialist if needed.
If you’re not sure where to go for treatment, check out our list of eating disorder treatment centers. You can also find more information about getting eating disorder help here. The facility or clinician you choose to go to will meet with you and give you a recommendation. They will help you find the best level of care and can connect you to additional resources as well.
If you’re having serious health problems like passing out, feeling too weak to get up, or feeling disoriented or confused, call your doctor right away or go to the nearest emergency room. This could be serious and immediate treatment is important. If you’re feeling depressed and suicidal, go to the emergency room or call 911. The U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-8255 and here is their website is for additional resources.
The Recovery Process
Eating disorder treatment can be a long and complex process. Often, it begins with medical care to treat the physical health problems that result from eating disorders, like malnutrition, nutritional deficiencies, dehydration, ulcers and heart trouble. Some individuals will require inpatient treatment for their medical, eating, and emotional support. This can be a very effective way to help restore weight that has been lost and to eliminate eating disorder behaviors like restricting, bingeing, and purging, in a supportive environment with people who understand. Establishing a body weight that supports the individuals’ ability to thrive is a vital part of recovery, as a malnourished body does not have the resources required to fully recover from an eating disorder.
Depending on the individual, engaging in individual, group, family, and nutritional counseling can help with overcoming the behavioral processes that are often apparent with eating disorders. Family counseling is recommended to teach family members how to support one another through improving communication, connection, boundaries, and healing from the past. Nutritional counseling and education can help individuals let go of eating disorder behaviors, repair their relationship with food, and begin to eat in a more compassionate and attuned way. Group therapy gives the opportunity to support and connect with others going through similar challenges. It can help to feel less alone as well as benefit from hearing other group members’ insights.
Some people need residential treatment in the beginning until they are medically and psychologically stabilized. Other people are able to begin with outpatient treatment. A qualified treatment provider can meet with you for an evaluation and be able to advise you about the best level of care to meet your needs.
The recovery process can be scary and challenging, try to take it one step at a time and know that it will all be worth it in the end. You deserve to live a full life, engaging in things you enjoy, with the people who matter to you, without being distracted by challenges with food and body image. No matter how long you have struggled with food and body image, healing is possible and there is support available.
Follow this link for more information about the recovery process.
For More Assistance
If you’re not sure where to start, try our eating disorders information page. If you’re feeling discouraged or hopeless, take a moment to read this letter of hope. Please let us know if you have any questions or if we can assist you in any way, and feel free to email us and we’ll do our best to help. We care and we want you to get the eating disorder help that you need. We know that people who struggle with eating disorders are often the most compassionate, creative, caring, insightful people and this world needs more of you, not less.
Updated – 2020