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Anorexia Eating Disorder: Can Rehabilitation Centers Help?

Anorexia Eating Disorder

Whenever we hear the term rehabilitation, only one thing comes to our mind. It is a place where addiction sufferers get the proper support and treatment they require to cure themselves.

Then how can anorexia be related to a rehabilitation center?

You are either confused on seeing the title of the article or want to know whether a rehab center can actually help a patient with anorexia. There is one simple answer to this, Yes.

A patient with anorexia can receive the perfect help and support which is required to cure this mental disease. You can find a solution for such a problem in a good rehabilitation center.

Now, a question might be looming in your head. Is anorexia an addiction? Then why the rehabilitation center? But, before we talk about all the ways a rehabilitation center can help a patient with anorexia.

Let us first understand what anorexia nervosa is.

What Is Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia Nervosa is the scientific term for a very severe eating disorder. This is when people suffer from the negative image of body dysmorphia and always want to change it.

As a result, they constantly keep a check on their weight and start eating less and less. Some anorexia patients simply live on water and even baby food to fulfill their hunger. Some patients even keep a regular check of their calories per food.

All in all, they refuse to give their body the required food or nutrition. This is a very painful disease that takes a toll on their mental and physical health. What they need is nurturing to make them understand that there is a problem, then the physical need to gain the nutrients their body lost.

The rehabilitation center can provide all these. Here are some of the other ways it is effective.

1. Individual Therapy

Anorexia rehabilitation centers are different from others; the first step is therapy. On admission, the patient is redirected to intensive therapy sessions where the medical professional tries to understand the reasoning behind body dysmorphia and how it has affected the patient by now.

The time period of these individual therapy sessions depends on the seriousness of the case. Since most of the professionals following this step will be taking help from the detailed report of the therapist.

The therapist will try to understand the history and accordingly decide the severity of the disease.

2. Medical Help

There are several medical conditions that a patient with anorexia nervosa goes through. This includes but is not limited to anemia due to lack of nutrition, weak bones and diarrhea, and constipation.

Some other serious issues they might suffer from are low heart rate, which can cause severe low pressure, kidney failure, pancreatitis, etc. So, along with the therapy, medical treatment also falls under the extensive treatment of a rehabilitation center.

This will include checking the body and providing the right medication and nutritional help for the patient to regain strength.

3. Withdrawal Symptoms In Anorexia

The withdrawal symptoms of anorexia nervosa are slightly different than an addiction. Mostly the withdrawal symptoms are mental rather than physical. Patients can go through severe anxiety and panic attacks when they witness themselves gaining weight again.

Slight aversion to food during this time, but they can be easily combated with the right supervision and care. A nutritionist is appointed in these in-patient facilities where slowly and gradually, the patient is made familiar with the idea of a balanced diet.

They are not given much to eat on the first day as it can mentally and physically harm the body.

4. Group Therapy

Group therapy is done to get the patients out of a feeling of isolation. A patient suffering from anorexia, like any other drug dependence and mental health patient, feels lost and alone.

They are always under the impression that they are the only people suffering from this problem. Through group therapy, in rehabilitation centers, they hear the suffering and the success stories of other patients, which is very helpful to induce motivation.

The main reason for group therapy is peer-to-peer motivation. The stories are proven credible when they are heard from the mouth of a past survivor, and patients learn that they can achieve these results as well.

This is also a great source of support and appreciation which is very much required for someone suffering from eating disorders.

5. Constant Supervision

Constant supervision is needed when trying to cure someone suffering from anorexia nervosa. It is more than relapsing to their old habits; it is about getting into severe depression and anxiety.

The therapy is an ongoing process to ensure that the patient’s headspace is known to everyone. Additionally, these rehab centers have supervisors to study every movement and understand their behavior with the changes in the eating pattern.

6. Holistic Life Coaching

In-patient rehabilitation centers ensure that people are protected from mental diseases and teach them how to lead a healthy life. Through holistic approaches like mindful meditation and yoga, they are taught the meaning of self-appreciation, love, and body positivity.

They should come out of these centers not just with cured anorexia but new people as well.

What Is The Duration Of An Inpatient Anorexia Rehabilitation?

Again, the duration depends on the patient’s case. If it is a serious case of anorexia nervosa, then the duration is definitely more.
However, there is a timeline for treatment, and patients go through these stages week by week. Six months is the minimum time for an anorexia in-patient rehabilitation center.

Final Note

Anorexia nervosa is not simply someone having aversion to unhealthy food; it is something more serious than that.

Therefore, if you know someone whose eating pattern has suddenly changed and their body weight is falling drastically, talk to them and try to get them into a good rehab program.

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