When it comes to eating disorder recovery, there is a variety of options available for support and treatment. From residential treatment to outpatient care and everything in between, there are resources that can help you find hope and healing. How do you know which level of care is right for you?

Understanding Treatment Options for Eating Disorders

Seeking treatment at the appropriate level of care is important for helping you progress in your eating disorder recovery.  Thankfully, there are many eating disorder professionals and resources that can help you or your loved one decide what level of treatment might be most suitable for your specific needs. It is recommended that you work with a professional to determine what level of care is the most beneficial for your recovery. This might be an eating disorder therapist, counselor, physician, or psychiatrist. By understanding your concerns as well as the signs and symptoms you are experiencing, a qualified professional will make treatment level recommendations that meet you exactly where you are currently. The most common levels of eating disorder treatment include:

  • Inpatient Treatment
  • Residential Treatment
  • Partial Hospitalization
  • Intensive Outpatient
  • Outpatient

Typically, a more acute or inpatient level of treatment is necessary for someone who may require medical and/or psychiatric stabilization.  Many individuals will often transition to the different levels of eating disorder treatment as they progress in their recovery journey.  Less acute levels of treatment, including intensive outpatient and outpatient treatment, are more suitable for a person who does not require supervision and monitoring and who is relatively stable from any medical or psychiatric complications.

Why Residential Treatment Can Best Support Recovery

Residential treatment is an important option available for eating disorder recovery. Residential treatment programs offer a safe and structured environment where individuals can find healing from even the most destructive of eating disorders. At this level of care, residents are provided with continual support and monitoring as well as comprehensive treatment from a multi-disciplinary team, including physicians, psychiatrists, therapists, dietitians, and more.  Residential treatment offers the best level of support required for individuals suffering from a severe eating disorder, including anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder and co-occurring conditions.

Making the choice to seek out residential treatment can feel overwhelming, but it is important to know that you are not alone in this process.  Consider some of the following reasons why residential treatment might be a positive option for your recovery:

  1. You are struggling with medical complications: Eating disorders are complex illnesses that can result in serious medical consequences. Maybe you have found yourself in and out of doctor’s offices to deal with eating disorder symptoms. Alternatively, maybe you have found the quality of your life negatively affected by physical complications resulting from an eating disorder. Eating disorders, if left untreated, can be life threatening, often due to medical complications, such as heart failure, electrolyte imbalance, or malnutrition. In these cases, residential treatment can help you safely recover from these conditions by providing resources needed for medical stabilization.
  2. You are overwhelmed, emotionally or psychologically: It is not uncommon for eating disorders to develop alongside other issues, such as anxiety, depression or addiction. These co-occurring conditions can make it more complex for you to find the underlying cause of your eating disorder and start healing. Residential treatment can give you the structure and environment needed to heal from these complex factors.
  3. You find it difficult to feed yourself: Sometimes something as simple as feeding your body appropriately can feel immensely challenging if you are living with an eating disorder.  Because of the severity of eating disorder behaviors, you may not even be sure how or what to feed yourself. Engaging in destructive eating habits, like restricting, purging, and/or binging, can make food seem chaotic. You may feel like you cannot trust your body or are intensely fearful of gaining weight. Residential treatment can be an invaluable resource for helping you normalize your eating behaviors and develop healthier eating patterns.
  4. The quality of your life is compromised: Eating disorders can deprive you of enjoying life, making it difficult to flourish in school, work, and relationships. You may have had to drop out of school, lost your job, missed out on a promotion at work, or are suffering in relationships with those closest to you because of your eating disorder. Residential treatment can give you the strong foundation you need in your recovery journey to deal with the underlying causes and gain the tools necessary to rebuild relationships.
  5. You have a poor support system: Eating disorders can be isolating, and you may not have adequate support to help you through the recovery process. It is important that you do not fight this alone and that you surround yourself with others who understand how to help you. The treatment team available at the residential level of care can give you the support and structure you need to recover.

While the decision to seek out residential treatment can be tough, it is important to realize what you will gain by prioritizing your healing and recovery. Living life to your fullest potential and ultimately being able to thrive in every aspect of your life are gifts that you will never regret.

The risks of not seeking out residential treatment for your eating disorder must be taken into consideration. Left untreated, you could potentially endanger your life or even lose what matters most to you. Consider how you want your future life to look and ask yourself if your eating disorder is part of that picture.

How The Meadows Ranch Can Support Your Healing

At The Meadows Ranch, we understand what is needed to help you find lasting recovery from your eating disorder. Our residential level of care provides the highest quality of comprehensive treatment to ensure that you are supported every step of your journey.  Our eating disorder professionals are dedicated to seeing you thrive and will support you with an individualized care plan that is designed to meet your unique needs.  Wherever you may be on your journey today, we stand ready to support you in recovery.  For additional information about the treatment of eating disorders, please call to speak to an Intake Coordinator at 866-842-1245