A closer look at modern treatments for anorexia nervosa, including details about cost and where to seek help.
What is anorexia?
Anorexia nervosa, more commonly known as anorexia, is a condition related to body weight. Over 30 million Americans are estimated to suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives. The eating disorder anorexia nervosa is marked by a low weight, a distorted perception of the body, and an extreme fear of gaining weight.
In order to satisfy these misperceptions, a person with anorexia usually avoids gaining weight. They do this in several ways: by restricting food intake, inducing vomiting after meals, misusing laxatives and diet products, and by exercising profusely, among other things. While anorexia is classified as an eating disorder, its root causes are feelings of emotional instability, which must be addressed in order for treatment to stick.
When to seek help for anorexia?
No matter what stage in your recovery journey you are at, it can be difficult to seek help for anorexia. Many individuals with anorexia see their condition as a competition and don’t see themselves as “ill enough” to seek treatment. Others have sought help numerous times and feel ashamed at having relapsed.
It’s important to remember to put your physical and emotional health first by seeking treatment as early as possible. Even if you’re not severely underweight or experience occasional “good days,” early intervention is a useful strategy. However, it’s never too late to ask for help; treatment can help ease the stress of your condition and allow you to resume normal daily life.
Where can you get help for anorexia?
Treatment for anorexia nervosa is most effective when approached from a variety of different angles. Medical professionals, such as doctors, dieticians, and mental health professionals, can each help at different stages of the recovery process. The most common places to seek help for anorexia are:
Depending on where you’re at in the recovery process, you may need to see different medical professionals at different times. In order to receive comprehensive medical treatment for your eating disorder, consult with your primary care physician when necessary. They should be able to direct you to the appropriate professional for your needs.
How much does anorexia treatment cost?
It’s difficult to estimate the cost for anorexia treatment because your bill depends on the kind of treatment you need. Because you will often require care from several different medical professionals, cost prediction is even more challenging. For example, the cost of hospitalization or overnight stays in a facility will differ drastically from the cost of a few visits to the psychiatrist. Whether or not you have insurance and what the insurance covers is also a factor. Contact your provider for a list of in-network treatment options and facilities, which have the potential to reduce the cost of treatment drastically.
How long does anorexia treatment take?
Recovering from anorexia can be a long and challenging process that requires much external support in the form of medical professionals and loved ones. For this reason, it’s important not to put a timeline on treatment. Treatment is also hardly ever linear. It’s important to celebrate your wins as they come while working on the underlying mental and emotional stability issues that give rise to anorexia. Each individual is also different and goes through different phases of recovery at different times.
What happens when someone refuses treatment for anorexia?
One danger of eating disorders is that those suffering most acutely from such conditions oftentimes fail to see the value in pursuing treatment. Their anxiety around changing their relationship with food is often so deep-seated that it can be difficult to shake. In some instances, for adults who refuse treatment, guardianship or conservatorship can allow you to be closely involved with a person’s physical and psychological care and/or their finances.
However, these protections are state-specific and do not allow you to force an adult into a treatment program. The best approach to treatment-resistant adults is to show them the level of care and concern you hold for them. If necessary, you may have to use leverage to encourage them to seek treatment. While these tactics may seem manipulative, they are often the only way to secure medical assistance for those who need it but are unwilling to seek help themselves.
Is anorexia treatment successful?
While it can be difficult to achieve complete recovery, most patients who enter treatment for anorexia are able to make great progress. One of the main obstacles patients suffering from the disordered eating face is an unwillingness to get better. However, with the internal drive to improve and the help of an excellent team of medical professionals, the road to recovery is cleared of most major obstructions.