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How do I get Eating Disorder Support?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Eating disorder support is available from a number of places, for people actively struggling with eating disorders as well as people recovering from eating disorders. There are many different approaches to eating disorder support, which is something to keep in mind; if a patient does not feel comfortable in one setting, there may be other options elsewhere which will be more suitable. An active desire to seek support is an important first step.

Online, there are huge numbers of resources for eating disorder support. A number of websites provide forums for people with disorders like bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and anorexia nervosa to talk with each other. Some of these sites are run by professional organizations which promote clinical support for people with eating disorders, while others are run by support programs, and some are run by patients and former patients who want to help each other out.

Studies suggest that eating disorder support is actually better in a face to face setting, although support through the Internet can be beneficial for some patients. Many communities have support groups for people with eating disorders which meet periodically. Patients can find out about these groups through eating disorder hotlines, hospitals, and mental health professionals. They can also locate local meetings by contacting national organizations which provide eating disorder support and education.

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Some patients dislike the group setting, and would prefer to work one on one. For these patients, eating disorder support is available from doctors, psychologists, and mental health professionals. These professionals can provide structured support in meetings and over the phone, helping patients work through their problems. Seeing a doctor or psychiatrist can also give a patient access to medications used to manage depression, which may help a patient succeed in treatment.

For patients with severe eating disorders, hospitalization may be recommended. Hospitalization provides patients with eating disorder support and a structured environment. Being in a hospital can also get a patient out of his or her environment, allowing a patient to break disordered eating patterns. After hospitalization, the hospital may provide access to day clinics for patients to continue treatment on an outpatient basis, along with access to support groups and networks of former patients.

Family and friends can also be a valuable resource for eating disorder support. Some support groups provide training along with written study materials for family and friends who would like to support people with eating disorders. These materials provide information and advice which concerned people can use to help.

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