If someone you love has an eating disorder, it is best to get outside help with the situation. Not only are you too close to the patient to truly see everything clearly, it is also possible that the patient cannot talk with you about it. In addition, professionals are trained in helping people with this type of problem and have experience with it. There are different types of programs available that will have different amounts of restrictions on the patient. Depending on how long the eating disorder has been going on and how severe it is will determine what type of treatment is needed. Your primary care physician should be the first step in deciding on the treatment needed. Before you meet with him or her for an appointment, here is some information that will help you understand what the doctor may suggest.
If the disorder is fairly new, your loved one may benefit greatly from an outpatient program. This will also allow the patient to continue to go to school and or work while getting the help they need. He or she can attend meetings and meet with a counselor throughout the week to maintain the positive feelings needed to combat the problem. It would be good for you and other family members to go to some of the meetings and even get a bit of counseling too. The professionals involved will suggest how often the patient should attend. Going more frequently to different professionals, including a nutritionist, can be used to increase the intensity of the therapy.
Sometimes, outpatient therapy is not enough for recovery. Your loved one may need to stay in a residential program for a while to help combat the habits. This could be making sure that he or she does not sneak food if the problem is overeating and will also provide good, healthy meals when the problem is not eating. Because all the residents of the facility will be served meals appropriate to their needs and watched as they eat, it will force new habits.
When the patient has gotten to the point where there are serious health issues due to the eating disorder, hospitalization may be required at first. He or she will be watched and fed in a manner that will resolve the medical issues. Once the patient is healthy again, a residential program will probably be recommended.
Eating disorders are serious. They involve the patient's mental, physical, and emotional states. When you are close to someone, it is hard to be honest about the problem and to be strict enough to help them recover. Seek out professional help and support them while they are getting that help. Check with places like Reasons Eating Disorder Center for more help.