Dispelling Some Myths About Anorexia Treatment Programs

Posted on: 12 January 2021

If you or a loved one suffers from anorexia, then you likely know that recovery rarely happens alone. Many patients who recover from this serious eating disorder do so through a anorexia treatment program. But unfortunately, there are some myths about anorexia treatment programs that sometimes keep patients from receiving the vital care that they need. Below, you can discover some of those myths along with real information offered to dispel them.

Myth: Treatment takes place at a hospital.

If your loved one suffers from anorexia and is in need of urgent treatment, then yes, you should take them to a hospital. But hospitals typically only offer short-term immediate care for anorexia patients. For ongoing treatment, the patient needs to visit an eating disorder treatment center. These facilities employ professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat anorexia, specifically. General hospital staff tend to only have basic knowledge and skills related to anorexia treatment.

Myth: Treatment centers around nutrition education.

Maybe you're imagining that the patient will go to a treatment center, learn how important good nutrition is, and come home having embraced a better diet. But misunderstandings about nutrition play a very small role in most cases of anorexia. Most of the treatment tends to focus on identifying and managing the psychological conditions that underlie anorexia. There will be sessions on diet and healthy eating, but they're just one element.

Myth: One treatment session will cure the patient.

Some anorexia patients may only need one visit to a treatment program, but this is rare. For most patients, recovery from anorexia takes years of ongoing work. They may enroll in a treatment program for a month, make some progress, do well for a year, backslide, go into treatment again, backslide again — you get the idea. Treatment is very, very important, but do not assume one treatment session will fix everything.

Myth: Only inpatient treatment is effective.

For many anorexia patients, spending a month or more in an in-patient treatment program is extremely beneficial. But there are outpatient programs, too, and for patients whose lives are not in immediate danger, these programs can be a good choice. They are intensive. There will be multiple therapy sessions and group meetings each week. But if the patient sticks with the program and has good support at home, outpatient treatment can work.

Hopefully, this article has dispelled some myths you may have heard or believed about anorexia treatment. This is a complex eating disorder, and treating it is also complicated. The best thing to do is find a good program, and get started right away.