While no exact methodology has been established, treatments for anorexia include therapy, medication and in severe cases, hospitalization.
No standard treatment process exists for anorexia nervosa. The most common method of dealing with the disease involves a combination of psychotherapy, family therapy and prescription medications.
Individual therapy is the strongest tool in treating patients with anorexia. If you’re diagnosed with the disease, and you’re open to treatment, your therapist will work with you to adjust your behaviors, thoughts and self-perceptions. The goal is for you to gain a healthy approach to body image, food and healthy eating and exercise habits.
Many anorexia patients spend years in cognitive-behavioral therapy before entering remission.
Family therapy is often an important part of addressing anorexia, especially if you’re opposed or intimidated by treatments. Family members and friends are often called upon to take an active role in monitoring your eating habits and other behaviors to be sure you’re progressing.
This disorder can easily lead to tension and resentment between family members. Family therapy isn’t only necessary to instruct family members on how they can help you, but also to help them cope with the situation themselves.
Many people who suffer from anorexia are so preoccupied with their own lifestyle that they fail to see how it affects other people.
Apart from therapy, you may be prescribed medications for depression or anxiety if your doctor determines that it would benefit your treatment plan. Depression is often a side-effect of those suffering from malnutrition and it’s often a precursor as well. Many people develop anorexia as a means of coping with emotional distress, which may be a result of depression or other causes (The Priory Group, 2011).
In cases of advanced anorexia, patients may have to be hospitalized. This may happen if severe malnutrition leads to organ failure, or if continued refusal to eat warrants force-feeding procedures.