When Is Rehab Necessary for Eating Disorders?

People often downplay how serious eating disorders can get – they are serious, leading to severe health complications. An eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa can be life-threatening without prompt treatment.

Unfortunately, it is not easy to address eating disorders without the help of a specialist. Its treatment can take a very long time, and it is marred with challenges that send others to relapse.

While some people may not fully recover, others find a treatment option that helps them lead a meaningful life. They find ways of identifying signs of a relapse and how to cope with triggers confidently.

If you are struggling with this condition or know someone who needs help to overcome it, consulting a therapist or a counselor will help you find a personalized treatment method that will meet your unique needs.

The best way to start a recovery process for people with severe disorders is inpatient care. But when is the right time for this treatment?

When Is the Right Time for Treatment?

Generally, an eating disorder is a cause of concern that warrants immediate attention before it escalates. The problem is that reading the signs is often tricky for some people.

You can, however, consider outpatient treatment if:

  • You are looking to intervene before the symptoms worsen
  • You are unable to leave your family, work, or school
  • Your health is stable, physically
  • Your symptoms are mild and do not dissuade you from your daily activities.
  • Inpatient treatment cost is your biggest worry

The advantage of this type of treatment is that it is more flexible than inpatient treatment. It involves you visiting the recovery center several times a week but for a few hours. During the process, you might work with different types of counselors, and some parts of the treatment will require the presence of your family members.

Outpatient services, nevertheless, do not address medical issues. Should you require emergency services or continued care, your doctor will recommend inpatient treatment.

This type of treatment provides a more comprehensive treatment plan that includes meals, nutritional support, medical and mental health care.

Inpatient treatment for eating disorders is necessary if:

  • Other treatment options such as outpatient care haven’t worked
  • You have been struggling with an eating disorder for an extended period, and you need medical and nutritional support
  • Your avoidance of triggers is nearly impossible

Once you complete the inpatient treatment, a follow-up outpatient treatment is recommended.

The treatment options involved in both outpatient and inpatient services combine several approaches, which include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, psychodynamic therapy, mindfulness-based techniques, to name a few.

In all these types of treatment, eating disorder treatment specialist will offer empathy and give you the proper support you need to overcome your eating disorders.


Seeking help from a treatment facility for an eating disorder is the first step in a long and challenging process. You will work with mental health experts, nutritionists, counselors – all trained to offer support in your recovery journey.

You will develop skills to cope and learn how to manage triggers, helping you minimize the chances of relapse while improving your chances of success.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, know this; recovery is possible. Don’t suffer alone. Reach out to a professional eating disorder therapist and find a treatment that works best for you.

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