If you’ve recently been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, you may be wondering what the future has in store for you. The prognosis for anorexia nervosa remains uncertain. If you take advantage of available treatments and stay committed to maintaining good health, recovery can be within your grasp.
What is the Recovery Rate for Anorexia?
So far, the only guaranteed means of treating anorexia nervosa is prevention. The pressure placed on young people to be thin and attractive is stronger than it’s ever been, causing even the best efforts of parents and teachers to fall short.
Fortunately, seeking and participating in recommended treatments has proven to be helpful toward a full recovery. As many as 60 percent of patients who participate in prescribed treatments achieve recovery (Eating Disorder Foundation of Orange County (EDFOC), 2006).
Your chances will increase if you commit yourself to your recovery and participate fully in prescribed treatment programs. About 80 percent of women are discharged early from treatments, sometimes as much as several weeks before the recommended time. Sometimes it’s the choice of the patient, but other times this early release is mandated by their health insurance policies. As many as 96 percent of eating disorder professionals believe that the early release mandated by insurance companies directly places patients in life-threatening situations (EDFOC, 2006).
If you don’t seek treatment, the outlook of anorexia recovery is bleak. Serious physical and mental side effects, emotional isolation and death can result. Sadly, only about one in ten people with known eating disorders seek treatment. Even those who do seek treatment are not always fortunate. As many as 20 percent of patients will relapse, even with the help of therapy (EDFOC, 2006).
What is the Mortality Rate for Anorexia?
The fact that anorexia can kill you is sobering enough. What’s even more tragic is how many people fall victim to this fatal disorder. As many as 20 percent of people with anorexia nervosa will die from the disease or its related side effects (Cleveland Clinic, 2011).
Those who engage in therapy and other prescribed treatments will see a reduction in the risk of mortality. Those who remain committed to therapy, even after remission, can reduce chances even further.
What are Other Risks Associated With Anorexia?
Approximately 50 percent of people diagnosed with an eating disorder also report abusing addictive substances such as alcohol and illegal drugs, compared to just 9 percent of the total population who reported using these substances. Conversely, 35 percent of those who suffer from substance addiction also report having some type of eating disorder (EDFOC, 2006).
Much like substance abuse, studies on the epidemiology of anorexia nervosa show that this disease can affect people of any age, gender or race.