Evidence-Based Comprehensive Psychological, Nutritional and Medical Care

A Guide to the Anorexia Recovery Process

The anorexia recovery process is a long and difficult journey both for individuals suffering from this eating disorder and for the loved ones of these individuals. If you or a loved one suffers from anorexia and is undergoing anorexia recovery, it is important to understand the anorexia recovery process. For individuals suffering from anorexia, knowing this recovery process will allow you to know what to expect and can help to encourage you along the way. For family members and friends of those attempting recovery from anorexia, understanding this process will allow you to provide the necessary support for your loved one. For more information about anorexia recovery or receiving treatment for anorexia and other eating disorders, please call McCallum Place.

Admitting Anorexia

The first step to anorexia recovery is for an individual to admit that they are suffering from an eating disorder. This acceptance opens the door to recovery and allows important treatment to begin. However, admitting that you are suffering from anorexia and require treatment can be difficult especially since the desire to remain thin can override concerns about health or physical well-being. After you are able to take this important first step, you are then able to begin the path to anorexia recovery through anorexia treatment, and you can eventually return to a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Beginning the Anorexia Recovery Process with Treatment

Because an eating disorder will generally take over a person’s life, it is usually necessary for individuals suffering from anorexia to begin some type of treatment in order to completely recover from this eating disorder. Generally, the most effective treatment programs resulting in anorexia recovery include both psychological and medical treatment. The medical aspect of treatment focuses on weight restoration and addressing any physical symptoms and effects of anorexia, while the psychological treatment attempts to address thoughts and mental patterns, which contribute to the disorder. In other words, these two main parts of anorexia recovery that you can expect during anorexia treatment include:

  • Weight restoration & treating medical complications during anorexia recovery
  • Changing attitudes and behaviors resulting in anorexia recovery

Successful anorexia treatment will promote anorexia recovery by teaching an individual how to maintain an ideal body weight, changing distorted perceptions of body image, and preventing relapse. Determining the ideal treatment program to achieve anorexia recovery for you or a loved one will include working with an eating disorder specialist or treatment facility, such as McCallum Place in St. Louis and Kansas City.

Preventing Relapse Following Anorexia Recovery

While anorexia recovery results will vary from individual to individual, anorexia statistics show that between 44 to 75 percent of patients will respond to treatment. However, relapses are common for individuals during any stage in the anorexia process. Anorexia recovery is similar to the recovery from alcohol or substance abuse as the disorder can be controlled, but some believe may never be fully cured. Therefore, it is important to realize that a preoccupation with food and distorted body image may remain even after anorexia recovery. Treatment techniques that promote anorexia recovery and reduce the risk for relapse can include:

  • Using psychological treatment and therapy to help individuals accept that anorexia poses serious health risks
  • Increasing self esteem and reducing distorted body images
  • Addressing factors that contributed to the development of anorexia
  • Promoting the use of support groups to form lasting bonds and channels of support
Marks of Quality Care
  • Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA)
  • Eating Disorder Coalition of Iowa
  • International Association Of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP)
  • National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD)
  • National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
  • RenewED, Eating Disorders Support
  • Washington University in St. Louis

As painful as it is to be here and do what they’re asking, I don’t think I’d be able to do it without the McCallum Place support. You don’t have to know how to fix it, just be willing to listen and try their suggestions.

– A Former Resident