Eating disorder treatment and recovery are often misunderstood by the general public. There are many misconceptions and half-truths around that hide the reality of the situation for the millions of women (and, to a lesser degree, men) who are battling with the most life-threatening of all mental health disorders. According to recent statistics, approximately 10% of individuals with an eating disorder (such as anorexia nervosa) will die from it within ten years.
With this in mind, it is incredibly important that we clear up any misconceptions about eating disorders and their treatment so that those who need help can have the information they need to seek help and begin to heal their bodies and their psychological well-being.
Four Myths About Eating Disorder Treatment
- If they look better, they must be cured! Unfortunately, you can’t tell if someone has recovered from their eating disorder by just looking at them. They may look healthy and they may be eating ‘normally’ but they may still be in an early stage of recovery where, according to eating disorder experts, sufferers go through the motions of eating, almost robotically. It’s a step in the right direction, but they may not feel safe or confident yet. They may still need more time and treatment to understand why feel the way they do.
- A few months of treatment will fix everything! Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Recovery takes time, effort and a lot of patience. Also, the amount of time spent in treatment isn’t the only indicator of how well the client is progressing. Their willingness to accept that they are ill, their desire to heal, their commitment to their program and the support they get from loved ones are vital. Recovery can take months or years.
- They will be the same person they were before treatment. This is a tricky one, because although loved ones want the sufferer to come home recovered and healthy and just as they remember her, this is not in her best interest! Recovery needs to be transformative to be successful and by the time treatment is complete, the client is unlikely to see themselves in the same way that they used to when they were ill. This is a good thing!
- They will get well because someone wants them to. Maybe family and friends are worried, or maybe they need to get well in order to keep their job or do well at school. However, external incentives are not usually enough to keep someone’s eating disorder recovery on track. The desire to heal, to regain control and balance and to start living healthily must start from within. This change can begin in eating disorder treatment but the client must truly want to make that change happen. She can’t do it for someone else and not for herself.
If you or someone you love is having problems with alcohol abuse, chemical dependency or addiction, recovery from a drug abuse program, like the one at Destination Hope, may be the answer. Remember that recovery from addiction and alcohol abuse treatment means learning how to cope with intensely emotional situations, and identifying when you need help and support. Treatment for addiction relapse, counseling, and aftercare can help you do this, so please call us today. Destination Hope is a full-service addiction and health treatment facility in Florida for men and women who suffer from substance abuse and behavioral health issues.