Anorexia – Treatment & Outcomes
Anorexia is dangerous and if untreated, it can be fatal
About one fifth of people with anorexia fully recover
Two fifths of sufferers regain weight but develop other psychological problems with eating such as bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder
About one third of sufferers remain anorexic, unable to break the cycles of their illness. Emphasis within treatment should be on how to live and manage rather than initially on how to be “cured” because the main way an anorexic copes with feelings and risk is to retreat into their eating disordered behaviours.
Learning to trust oneself and other people coupled with learning to take responsibility for self-care is crucial. This requires the input of both medical and psychological help. There is not a single formula of treatment that works for all cases.
Treatment is more likely to have a stronger success rate if intervention is made in the early stages of the development of anorexia nervosa.
The longer the illness is left in untreated the more ingrained it can become and getting suffers to accept and admit that they need treatment can be problematic as the majority may deny that they have a problem at all. Treatment can be made obligatory if the sufferers’ health is at severe risk and they refuse to engage with medical intervention.
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