5 Reasons An Outpatient Clinic Can Be A Good Choice For A Teen With An Eating Disorder

Posted on: 30 March 2016

There are many factors that contribute to whether an inpatient, partial hospital, residential, intensive outpatient or outpatient treatment program is best for a teen who struggles with an eating disorder. In many cases, if your eating disorder has progressed to the point where you are in immediate danger of permanent injury or death, your treating physician will generally require you to be hospitalized until you are stable enough to choose a treatment plan to fit your needs. However, if you are in the early stages of an eating disorder, you may have the choice of attending a residential treatment center or an outpatient treatment center. Although both types of treatment centers have benefits, here are five reasons you should consider an outpatient treatment plan. 

Maintain Your Current Social Life 

Many times, social pressures can contribute to the onset of anorexia. The need to please others and fit in can be stressful and can exacerbate your eating disorder. Many people who suffer from anorexia need to be removed from this social stress in order to begin their recovery. However, if the thought of leaving your social activities for an extended period of time prevents you from seeking help, then you might consider an outpatient program. 

While you attend therapy sessions and medical exams throughout the week, you will still have time to engage in some or all of your current social activities. While you process your disorder with your therapist, you can identify whether your social obligations contribute to your eating disorder and you can begin to make healthy changes on your own terms. 

Stay In Your Current School 

If you are concerned that you will fall behind in school if you seek treatment, an outpatient treatment plan may be a good option for you. This will allow you to attend classes and continue your studies without putting off treatment until summer break. 

Practice Techniques in Real Life 

While you are going through treatment, you will learn several coping techniques to help change your relationship with food and deal with outside factors that contribute to your eating disorder. However, studies show that around 80% of people who are treated for anorexia do not get enough treatment, often because they leave inpatient facilities before the recommended length of stay is over. 

With outpatient treatment, you can focus on a long-term treatment plan that involves testing the techniques that you learn during therapy in real life situations and then modifying your coping techniques until you find a method that works for you. 

You Can Stay Near Your Support Network

If you have family and friends who care about you, being around them can be helpful during your treatment. They can encourage and support you through difficult times and may engage in therapy with you at times. While an inpatient facility may be a good option if your family life contributes to stress that exacerbates your eating disorder, if you have a positive, healthy relationship with your family, you might want to consider outpatient options. 

You May Feel More In Control of Your Treatment 

For many people, anorexia is about control rather than food. If you are hesitant to enter treatment because you feel like you will have to give up too much control, an outpatient treatment plan may be better suited to you. During outpatient treatment sessions, you can maintain a sense of control while learning ways to deal with underlying psychological issues, such as anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder, that may cause that need for control. 

The most important choice you can make when you recognize that you have an eating disorder is to seek treatment. If you do not feel like you are ready for inpatient treatment, then consider the benefits of outpatient treatment. Contact a company like Center for Change Anorexia treatment centers for more information.