3 Ways to Find the Right Road to Eating Disorder Recovery


An eating disorder is a serious but treatable mental and physical illnesses that can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights. National surveys estimate that 20 million women and 10 million men in America will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives (1). Eating disorders have detrimental impacts upon a person’s life and result in serious medical, psychiatric and psychosocial consequences.

An eating disorder can occur across a broad age range, they often develop in the teens and early 20s.

Eating disorders often develop in the teen and young adult years (2), although they can develop at other ages. With treatment, you can return to healthier eating habits and sometimes reverse serious complications caused by the eating disorder.

For people who are looking into eating disorder recovery options (3), there are a lot of choices to consider. But it’s very important that they find the right treatment center which will ensure they receive compassionate, personalized care. In other words, a center that can provide the tools they need to stay recovered after their treatment is complete. Seeking out a center that offers ongoing guidance and support is among the best ways to improve the quality of their lives.

Eating disorders commonly co-occur with anxiety disorders. For those who have an anxiety disorder, a co-occurring eating disorder may make their symptoms worse and recovery more difficult. It’s essential to be treated for both disorders (4).

Eating disorders are not a choice. It is important to seek treatment early for eating disorders. People with eating disorders are at higher risk for suicide (5) and medical complications. These disorders can affect a person’s physical and mental health. With treatment, however, people can recover completely from eating disorders.

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Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and avoidant restrictive food intake disorder. Each of these disorders is associated with different but sometimes overlapping symptoms. People exhibiting any combination of these symptoms may have an eating disorder and should be evaluated by a health care provider.

Here are three things to carefully consider when seeking out a recovery facility for an eating disorder, in order to find the one that’s truly going to be the best choice for the client.

Look for a Treatment Program With a Whole-Person Approach

At some eating disorder treatment centers the focus is on the symptoms of the disorder. While that makes sense, there’s much more to the person than the disorder they’re experiencing. With that in mind, treatment centers that approach clients as whole people are generally going to give those clients a better experience. After all, they’re a person first and a client second. They are not their disorder, and there’s much more to them than that.

When that’s offered to them through the recovery center they choose, there is a better chance improvement in self-acceptance, a healthy relationship with food and caloric intake, and with a general mindful approach to life. Treating the whole person is has been proven to provide a longer-lasting change in the life of the client.

Consider Whether Residential or Day Treatment is Best

There are eating disorder treatment centers that offer both residential and day treatment, along with some that only offer one or the other. Whichever the client currently needs, though, there is value in selecting a treatment center that provides both. That’s because their needs may change in the future, and they will want to be able to continue to work with a treatment facility and a staff that they know and trust.

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After residential treatment is complete they may continue with day treatment services for a while. Or they may find that day treatment isn’t giving them what they need at the start of their journey, and choose to enroll in residential treatment for a period of time. By doing all of that at one facility they reduce their stress levels and the confusion that can sometimes be caused when trying to move centers and continue treatment. It’s generally a better option to have everything in one place.

A Fully Recovered Staff Can Understand the Journey More Easily

When it comes to eating disorder recovery, one of the most important things is having a staff of caring professionals who understand the journey the client is taking. That’s why a fully recovered staff at a treatment center can be so beneficial. They have been through their own eating disorder recovery in the past, so they understand what the client is going through and the kinds of needs that client may have.

While that doesn’t ensure success for all clients, it makes their chances at a fully recovered self higher because they have a support system around them who truly understands what’s taking place in their lives as they move through treatment.


(2) For Parents: Eating Disorders in Teens

(3) Treating Eating Disorders.

(4) Eating Disorders

(5) Eating disorders and suicidality: what we know, what we don’t know, and suggestions for future research

Cara Lucas

InnoVision Health Media reports on health content that is supported by our editorial advisory board and content published in our group of peer reviewed medical journals.

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