Eating disorders are serious illnesses that can have dangerous and sometimes fatal consequences if left untreated. Thankfully, many treatment options for eating disorders exist, including therapy, group support, nutritional counseling, and holistic treatments. Perhaps the most effective treatment for eating disorders, however, is residential treatment, as it combines many of the treatments listed above in a supportive environment with round-the-clock supervision and care. Here are six advantages of residential treatment for eating disorders over other viable treatment options.
1. It’s a controlled environment. People with eating disorders often develop compulsive behaviors that are hard to break without assistance. A residential treatment facility offers a controlled environment that can help patients break free from these ritualized and compulsive behaviors. Patients will no longer be able to lie about what they eat, purge or use laxatives, obsessively check their weight, etc. By eliminating the patient’s ability to continue these negative impulses, they are given a period of enforced freedom in which they can learn healthier behaviors.
2. It’s a supportive environment. In residential treatment, patients will be surrounded by other people who are going through the same ordeal. They’ll be able to share their experiences and receive encouragement from people battling the same demons. In addition to peer support, patients will receive professional support from trained therapists and counselors who can help them navigate their emotional journey to recovery.
3. It’s a safe environment. There are many contributing factors that cause a person to develop an eating disorder. Residential treatment will remove the patient from an environment that may be contributing to or worsening their disorder. Oftentimes this time away reveals negative influences and can help the patient identify people and situations that threaten their recovery.
4. Treatments can be better monitored. Observing a patient over several weeks allows therapists to identify underlying issues and make better judgments about treatments. They’ll be able to tell if prescribed psychiatric medications are working and offer more effective medication strategies.
5. Therapy can be more effective. During residential treatment, patients will often see their therapists and counselors on a daily basis. This allows them to develop a trusting relationship and accelerate the healing process.
6. It gives the patient time to heal. Life is hectic and full of stress. Residential treatment removes the patient from everyday worries and gives them a much-needed breather from the demands of family, friends, work and life. During this time they’ll be able to focus only on their recovery and finally begin to heal from the inside out.
No matter which type of treatment you pursue, you’ll be making positive steps toward your recovery. Eating disorders are a progressive illness that rarely gets better without outside help. Residential treatment for eating disorders will put you under the care of a team of professionals and provide access to many effective treatments for eating disorders.