The Inpatient Experience: Eating Disorder Patients

Woman with anorexia

Being an inpatient receiving treatment for an eating disorder is an option for people who have been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. The nature of the interventions varies depending on the purpose of the center.

Residential treatments for anorexia have varying successes, but for some, inpatient services are the best or only option. What can one expect when committing oneself to inpatient treatment for an eating disorder?

Starting out

The orientation period is simple enough. After meeting with the staff, they are introduced to the programs of the center. There may be differences in how each center presents the programs, but the objective is to make it clear to every resident what they can expect during their stay. Information packets are usually distributed. Also, the coordinators explain the schedules for individual and group therapy sessions, as well as other management programs specific to the needs of the individual.

Management programs

Stay-in clients have their individualized treatment plan. Management of eating disorders is multifaceted and may include meetings with support groups and recreational activities aside from individual and group therapies. The most effective programs must address not only the obvious symptoms but also the deeper, less apparent roots of the problem. Often, these are revealed only in the course of treatment, and not at the outset.

The road to healing

Eating disorders leave deep scars in both the person afflicted and in his or her family and community. Therapy programs cannot stand alone because relationship building through support groups is an integral part of healing.  Moreover, treatment may take more time than expected, and to attain full recovery could become a lifelong motivation.

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Dedicated inpatient hospitals and institutions are helping thousands of persons diagnosed with anorexia and other eating disorders. Consider the advantages of receiving inpatient care. Recovery may be a long and rocky process, but it is possible.