3 Signs It’s Time to Consider Residential Eating Disorder Treatment

Published On: February 27, 2018Categories: Eating Disorders, Therapy

Making the decision to seek help is a big step—it’s rarely easy to acknowledge that you’re struggling with an eating disorder. It can be even more overwhelming to consider the possibility of residential eating disorder treatment; however, getting the right level of help for your eating disorder is essential.

An eating disorder is a serious condition that can have fatal consequences if left untreated. Anorexia nervosa, the most commonly occurring eating disorder, has the highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders at 10 percent. In this article, we’ll look at a few key signs that it’s time to look into residential eating disorder treatment.

1. Other forms of treatment have been ineffective

Outpatient treatment is successful for some who have eating disorders, but many people find they need a higher level of care. You may have tried outpatient treatment and found it was difficult to maintain your recovery, or you may have struggled with intrusive thoughts that impaired your progress during treatment. In a residential treatment program, you’ll benefit from 24/7 support and a team of skilled specialists dedicated to helping you achieve your recovery goals.

2. You have a co-existing mental health disorder that requires stabilization

If you’ve been dealing with depression or other psychiatric illnesses along with your eating disorder, it may be best to receive treatment in a residential setting where you receive treatment for both disorders simultaneously, each within the context of the other. Residential treatment is also your best bet if you’ve struggled with suicidal thoughts or have a history of self-harm.

3. You’re experiencing physical symptoms that need monitoring

Although eating disorders are classified as mental health disorders, they cause serious physical symptoms and complications. People who suffer from anorexia nervosa experience many of the symptoms of severe malnourishment, such as dangerously low blood pressure, heart trouble, and organ failure. People who struggle with bulimia often suffer electrolyte imbalances brought on by purging.

At a residential eating disorder treatment center, you’ll receive the medical monitoring you need to get on the path to healing. If you’ve been suffering from a severe eating disorder for some time, the process of introducing food back into your system can send your body into shock, which is a condition known as refeeding syndrome.2 The experienced staff at a residential treatment center will carefully monitor your nutritional intake to ensure that you are kept safe and supported as your body begins to heal.

Residential Eating Disorder Treatment Might Be the Right Choice for You

Although this list isn’t comprehensive, it provides a good start. If you recognize any of these signs in yourself, you may want to consider residential eating disorder treatment. The round-the-clock support system offered in a residential setting can be invaluable.

When you choose the right setting for your unique needs, you can feel confident that you’re taking positive steps towards a lasting recovery.


  1. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/directors/thomas-insel/blog/2012/spotlight-on-eating-disorders.shtml
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19594099

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