Do Eating Disorders Go Away?

Published On: September 16, 2021Categories: Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are among some of the less common, but also most dangerous conditions listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), approximately nine percent of the United States population is impacted by an eating disorder.

More familiar eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. Other eating disorders defined by the DSM are pica, rumination disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder and unspecified eating disorder. Eating disorders generally involve a hyper focus on food and weight to the point that it disrupts daily functioning and causes health problems.

If you’ve struggled with an eating disorder, you’ve surely wondered “do eating disorders go away?” In this article we’ll answer that question, plus what you can expect from treatment and where to get started.

Will eating disorders go away?

On your own, no. Eating disorders can cause severe functional impairment, meaning that the condition can quickly spiral out of control, harming both your physical and mental health. According to the ANAD, eating disorders can be lethal too, about 26 percent of those with eating disorders attempt suicide.

While they can result in drastic consequences, getting professional treatment can help make eating disorders go away. The right treatment can help a person to overcome an eating disorder and live a healthy and fulfilling life.

What treatment can I get for an eating disorder?

Eating disorder treatment generally starts with an assessment. If you’re on the fence about starting treatment, the National Eating Disorders Association has a self-screening tool that can be helpful in determining if you could benefit from professional intervention. Treatment facilities will also have their own assessment procedures to determine if you need care, and at what level.

An in-person, professional assessment will provide you with an accurate diagnosis through a physical exam and psychological evaluation. Once a diagnosis is given, treatment may include hospitalization or partial hospitalization, an inpatient stay, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or family-based therapy.  Each person who goes through eating disorder treatment will present with unique needs and receive an individualized treatment plan.

Medication on its own will not make eating disorders go away, but drugs are often prescribed to help with co-occurring disorders or to help curb impulse control. Moreover, medication can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, which have a high prevalence among those with eating disorders.

According to the Mayo Clinic, proper treatment for eating disorders also includes nutritional education. Because all eating disorders imply an unhealthy relationship with food, treatment necessarily includes building wholesome eating habits with the help of a therapist, doctor, nutritionist or a similar qualified professional.

The National Association of Eating Disorders also recommends professionals to use evidence-based treatment. Up to date research and current studies inform practitioners of the best treatments available so you know you’re getting what you need.

What is the outlook for those with eating disorders?

While eating disorders can definitely be damaging to a person’s relationships, career and normal living, there is hope for those struggling. There is not a miracle cure to help with eating disorders, but participating in the right treatment can alleviate the worst symptoms and help you heal your relationship with food and body-image.

Like all mental health conditions, healing will take time and energy, but working to overcome issues is much better than trudging through them without getting help. Eating disorders that continue unchecked can become debilitating, so it’s important to get treatment- and soon.

Where can I reach out to get help?

If you’re ready to make peace with your body and live free from eating disorders, it’s time to reach out for help. At Tapestry, you can get the eating disorder help you need from compassionate and caring professionals. A trained interdisciplinary team that specializes in eating disorder treatment will make the difference in your recovery. Call 828-490-4032 today!

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