Cures for Eating Disorders
The type of treatment prescribed for an eating disorder depends on the type of disorder you may have. In general, however, the typical treatment plans for eating disorders will include psychotherapy (most often cognitive behavioral therapy), antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication, and education in good nutrition. If your life is in danger, hospitalization may be necessary to stabilize your condition. This is for patients with extreme forms of eating disorders who have caused damage to their organs and are literally on the verge of starving to death. Often, a team made up of medical physicians, mental health professionals, and nutritionists will be assigned to an eating disorder patient.
Psychotherapy can be a useful tool in the treatment of eating disorders as it can teach you how to choose healthy habits over unhealthy ones. Therapy can also help you learn how to watch your eating habits for patterns and to see how these eating patterns may correlate to your moods. You will learn the healthy skills you need to solve your problems and refine your coping strategies for stressful times. Psychotherapy can help to boost your mood and improve your relationships with others.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most common type of therapy used in treating eating disorders, though it has not been proven to be more effective than other forms of therapy. In cognitive therapy sessions, you will learn to recognize and change unhealthy or false patterns of thoughts about food and diet. Individual therapy is recommended, although sometimes family or group therapy can be helpful as well.
Nutritionists can help change your thinking about diet by creating an individualized eating plan with the goal of attaining a healthy weight for you. Binge-eaters may benefit from weight-loss programs that are under medical supervision.
Urge to Purge
While medication can't cure eating disorders, it may help you control the tendency to obsess about food and diet as well as any urges to binge or purge. Depression and anxiety symptoms are often associated with eating disorders. Antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications can help with these symptoms and may help a patient get over the urges that previously caused him or her to obess about food and diet.
Sometimes an eating disorder will take someone to the brink of life and death. In this case, hospitalization may be necessary. Hospitalization is indicated where there are serious health problems or if there is a refusal to eat or gain weight as in the case of anorexia. Sometimes hospitalization is on a medical ward, at other times on a psychiatric ward. There are also some clinics that specialize in treating eating disorders. These clinics sometimes offer day programs instead of fulltime hospitalization. Some programs exist that offer longer, more intensive treatment plans.