These Myths About Eating Disorder Treatments Are Simply Untrue

Posted on: 10 December 2020

Eating disorders can be incredibly dangerous. Not only can they lead to unhealthy weight loss, permanent damage to the digestive tract, and even death but typically they are a sign of some serious underlying trauma or mental health trouble. Thankfully, researchers are learning more and more about eating disorders, and there are eating disorder treatment programs available all through the country. However, there are still a few myths floating around about eating disorder treatment, and in order to ensure everyone has the right information to make smart healthcare decisions, it's important to clear up those myths.

Myth: Eating disorder treatment focuses on teaching about diet and nutrition

You may picture eating disorder treatment as a program in which the patient learns how to eat healthily. However, this misconception is based on a misunderstanding of what eating disorders really are. People do not develop eating disorders because they don't know what a healthy diet is. They develop eating disorders as a symptom of underlying mental health problems. As such, the focus of eating disorder treatment is generally on identifying and treating these underlying mental health problems. Yes, patients do learn about nutrition and meal planning, but this is not the primary focus.

Myth: Eating disorder treatments are just for women

Many eating disorder treatment facilities do specialize in treating women because eating disorders do tend to be more prominent in women. However, about one-third of eating disorder sufferers are male, and there are certainly programs that welcome males — either exclusively or alongside women. The eating disorders men suffer from do tend to be different from women. Men more often suffer from binge eating disorder and laxative abuse, whereas women tend to develop anorexia and bulimia. Eating disorder treatment centers that treat a lot of men tend to have more experience and resources for treating these specific eating disorders.

Eating disorder treatment is always an inpatient program

Some patients avoid eating disorder treatment because they assume they'll need to enroll in an inpatient program. And indeed, inpatient programs are a popular and effective choice. However, there are outpatient eating disorder treatment programs. They typically require patients to attend therapy sessions daily and perhaps a few other more specialized appointments throughout the week. Such programs can be really helpful for parents and busy professionals who have a harder time leaving home for treatment.

Now these three myths about eating disorder treatment have been busted! If you think you may be suffering from an eating disorder, don't wait. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can reclaim your life. Look for an eating disorder treatment program near you.