What are the Different Types of Eating Disorder Rehab?

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  • Written By: Celia Gaillard
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 20 January 2020
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There are a wide variety of eating disorders, each presenting the possibility for serious health consequences. Typically, deciding which eating disorder rehab to pursue is not only dependent on what type of eating disorder is present, but also on how willing the patient is to participate in their rehabilitation. Sufferers of eating disorders usually should receive both physical and emotional rehabilitation as the disorders are frequently caused by underlying emotional triggers.

Compulsive eating disorder involves excessive overeating. People suffering from compulsive eating disorder generally cannot control the amount of food they consume. Compulsive eaters may eat throughout the day, when they are not hungry, and when they are alone. They may not be able to stop eating once they have started.

People who are compulsive eaters usually are at high risk for obesity and generally will benefit from a combination of eating disorder rehab methods. People suffering from compulsive eating usually should meet with a physician to determine what physical problems are being caused by their disorder. Peer support groups found in an organization such as Overeaters Anonymous, can also be helpful. Compulsive eaters may also engage in individual therapy with a psychologist to try and identify the emotional reasons behind their compulsive eating.


Binge eating is another potentially dangerous eating disorder that involves overeating. Some people suffering from this disorder may eat little or nothing throughout the day and then consume a large amount of calories in one sitting. Others may eat normal-sized meals while around family and friends and then binge eat alone. Like compulsive eaters, binge eaters will eat whether they are hungry or not and are also at a higher risk for obesity.

Finding appropriate eating disorder rehab for people suffering from binge eating can be difficult because they are often too ashamed and embarrassed to admit to their behaviors. Meeting with a therapist could be helpful in identifying emotional reasons that may result in the binge eating. Depending on the severity of the binge eating episodes, including a physician in the eating disorder rehab could help as well.

While some eating disorders involve overeating, others involve purging and starvation. People suffering from bulimia nervosa often engage in binge eating followed by purging, either through laxatives, induced vomiting, or even using enemas. Bulimia nervosa is a very serious disorder and can lead to severe health problems. Sufferers are often at risk for severe tooth decay, heart and kidney failure, depression, and even compulsive behaviors like promiscuity and drug and alcohol abuse.

Eating disorder rehab for sufferers of bulimia nervosa typically should involve immediate physician intervention because of the unseen damage that may be occurring in the body. People suffering from bulimia nervosa are often resistant to therapy. Although they may benefit from individual and group therapy, intensive treatment in an eating-disorder center may be the most beneficial method of action.

Anorexia nervosa is another serious eating disorder where people typically starve themselves in an attempt to be thin. Sufferers may consume a very restrictive diet or sometimes nothing at all. They may experience a wide range of physical conditions including severe dehydration and malnutrition, tooth and gum disease, hair loss, and even osteoporosis.

Eating disorder rehab for sufferers of anorexia nervosa often includes both intervention with a physician and with a therapist. Anorexia nervosa sufferers tend to benefit from rehabilitation in eating-disorder centers where they can be closely monitored. Unfortunately, even with intensive care and therapy, people suffering from anorexia nervosa often relapse into their restrictive eating behaviors and may be helped further with continuous therapy sessions.



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