Eating disorders are very serious illnesses. They can result in severe health complications and even death. The thought of treatment can be quite frightening for someone with an eating disorder because their disorder is essentially their “identity.” Patients often wonder, “what would I be without this eating disorder?” and “how will I cope?” These are all very common questions.
Eating disorders are not only about eating and weight. They are also about anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and other negative thoughts and feelings. Sometimes patients know what triggered (or led to) the eating disorder while other patients do not.
If you are considering seeking treatment, congratulations! That is the first step to your recovery. Depending on your own individual situation and needs, your provider will discuss your options which may include hospitalization, residential treatment, day treatment, or outpatient therapy. Research has shown that if the patient is medically stable, then outpatient therapy is just as effective as higher levels of care.
Below is a page extracted from the National Eating Disorders Association about what to look for and questions to ask when seeking a treatment provider. When you find a therapist that you want to meet, just commit to an initial meeting and see how it goes. It may take a few sessions to know if you will both work well together so don’t give up right away.