Successful Treatment for Eating Disorders

Unfortunately, most people with anorexia, bulimia or other eating disorders have a distorted body image, causing them to have negative views of their body and themselves. It is through their eating disorder they feel they can maintain control over themselves and their lives. Eating disorders are often ego-syntonic, meaning that someone with an eating disorder does not always recognize the symptoms as problematic. Often eating disorders are accompanied by other mental health issues which makes the correct diagnosis a critical cog in helping to battle these life stealing disorders. Once there is a diagnosis, there are three signs that treatment will be successful.

These include:

1. Acceptance of the eating disorder

The foundation of recovery begins when a patient recognizes they have a problem. Whether it is in the disordered eating itself, body image or thought process such as panic, anxiety or lack of concentration, acceptance helps the therapist treat the problem. Without a general understanding of these feelings of discomfort, a patient may be more apt to “drop-out” of treatment.

2. Treatment programming methods

There are several variations and styles in the approach of eating disorder treatment. By definition, the word programming means “a set of methods and techniques that work with the non-conscious parts of the brain to re-pattern the thoughts, behaviors and beliefs that are limiting an individual.” There are many different methods regarded as successful such as, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and Family Based Therapy. Most behavioral specialists and psychologists can, and do understand, each these methods and how they use a combination of these methods to relate to each particular patient.

However, the most important aspect in treating programming is rapport with the patient, as well as the participation of the patient in the therapy. Rapport with the patient helps to break down the walls of defense that may have built up by confrontation about the disorders from members of the patient’s friend circles and/or family. This rapport is built through positive reinforcement during treatment, supporting the treatment outcomes.

3. Response to treatment

A positive rapport often coincides with patients responding well to treatment. Long term recovery is successful as patients begin to trust themselves and learn how to listen to their body and feelings. The human body is amazing in its ability to tell us not only that something is wrong, but also hint at solutions. Most of all, patients learn to accept themselves for who or what they are. They learn to love that self again.

Learning and embracing change in ones habits and behaviors is truly only a small part of recovery. It is the understanding that this change has to be permanent that allows for habits to be re-learned and embraced, resulting in lasting recovery and what each person deserves life.worth.living.

Article provided by Rogers Memorial Hospital.


© 2010 Screening for Mental Health, Inc.