Resetting Your Life with Eating Disorder Treatment
Spend some time with individuals who have worked hard in any kind of eating disorder treatment facility, and one of the most consistent comments you’ll hear is that entering the programme was a way of hitting the life reset button. For whatever reason, daily living had gotten pretty unmanageable and their best attempts at coping had let them down horribly and landed them there.
Admitting that there are issues and then getting help and support in dealing with them is at the heart of any attempts to recover from active eating disorders, substance abuse or other addictions. To do that you need to pause whatever else is going on, and take some time to begin unpacking and understanding yourself.
That unpacking and understanding is a lifelong process – you won’t finish it while you’re in treatment. But you’ll be able to make a start, and you’ll gain the tools and personal connections that you need to keep going when you finish your programme. To really do that effectively, wherever possible it is best if treatment starts with inpatient care.
Finding Out What’s Really Eating You
Any kind of substance or behavioural addiction is usually a sign of maladaptive coping strategies that have developed because of specific incidents, or because of difficulty in dealing with life in general. Mental illnesses like depression might also be involved, as a result, or a cause.
The metaphor applies for all addictions but with eating disorders, it’s especially poignant; you need to figure out what’s eating you so that you can start eating (and handling the rest of your life) properly. There are several therapies and methods for doing that, and what works best for you is not necessarily going to be what works best for someone else.
To have the time to work out what you need, from Schema Therapy to sessions volunteering at local charities, and support to deal with the issues that emerge, there’s no better place for you to be than an inpatient programme. Not only will you have professionals around to help you get to grips with your own psyche, but you’ll also be able to connect with other individuals who are experiencing similar struggles.
In certain countries, children who are newly diagnosed with diabetes go through residential programmes where they find out the basics of what their disease means and how to manage it. When they leave, they are able to look after their condition themselves but they still need a strong support team and will be learning more about being diabetic for the rest of their lives. A lot of people find it helpful to think of inpatient treatment for eating disorders in the same way.
What Comes Next?
After the big reset, when you return to the real world, you’ll need to carry on the work that you started while also taking care of life’s responsibilities on life’s terms. If that sounds like a lot to take on, it’s because it is. Reintegration care helps you to bridge the gap with continued input from your rehabilitation facility.
Depending on what you need this could include more group, family and individual psychotherapy sessions, goals planning and other support groups. You can also opt to move to outpatient treatment, which is a little more hands-on than reintegration but a little less full-time than being an inpatient. Often you’ll still get to be at a centre receiving therapy and participating in groups all day. This can be just what you need, especially if you’ve been an inpatient before and need some extra help and containment for a while.
Moving Up and Down Levels of Care
The thing about eating disorder recovery is that it’s a lifelong process and commitment. After you’ve been at it for a while, you’ll realise that, as with everything else, there are good and bad phases. You’ll need more support and structure at some points in your life, and less at others.
Staying healthy is hard, but the rewards are incredible – continued growth and greater insights into yourself, for as long as you keep working. The different levels of care – inpatient, outpatient and reintegration – are there for you as and when you need them. Once you know about the options, as is your right, it becomes your responsibility to use them to stay safe.