Eating Disorder Rehab

About Eating Disorders & Rehab


There are several types of eating disorders each with its own symptoms, challenges, and recommendations for treatment. As with any condition, individuals experience their eating disorder within the context of their personal life, culture, family dynamics, co-occurring conditions (if any), age, gender, sexual orientation, and other factors such as socio-economic challenges. Here are the major eating disorders as identified by the medical profession: 

Information from the Mayo Clinic1

Anorexia Nervosa


About Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa is often referred to simply as Anorexia. This is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition in which the individual becomes obsessed with their weight and develops a distorted image of their body. The individual perceives themselves as overweight when in reality, they are the opposite. They deny themselves food in order to reach their desired goal. Some individuals eat so little food, they literally starve to death. Perhaps, the most famous example of this was the late Karen Carpenter.

Bulemia Nervosa


About Bulemia Nervosa

Bulemia Nervosa is also referred to simply as Bulemia. Also, a serious eating disorder, in which the individual binges and purges in order to gain control over their caloric intake and body weight. Just as with Anorexia, there is a distorted body image involved. Individuals tend to believe they are too fat and so they purge immediately after they eat. 

As with Anorexia, they don’t have a realistic perception of themselves and tend to ruminate over perceived flaws. The most famous individual to cope with this condition was the late Princess Diana who admitted in an interview that she coped with Bulemia.The cycle of binging and purging causes a cascade of problems for the individual including damage to their stomach, throat, mouth, and teeth.

Rumination Disorder


About Rumination Disorder

  • Rumination Disorder is as it sounds. The individual ruminates or constantly thinks about food, their weight, how much they’ve eaten, and their body. This perseverative thinking often leads to the person purging their food in order to control their intake. The condition can lead to malnutrition, and like the other disorders mentioned here can become life-threatening.

Binge/Purge Disorder


About Binge/Purge Disorder

Binge/Purge Disorder This is a highly complex disorder that causes the individual to eat in a disordered manner and continue to eat long after they’ve taken insufficient food. But, they will stuff themselves to the point of becoming uncomfortable. Afterward, their sense of shame at what they’ve done will lead to purging. People who do this often eat alone so as to hide their disorder. 

Avoidant/Restrictive Intake Disorder


About Avoidant/Restrictive Intake Disorder

Avoidant/Restrictive Intake Disorder In this disorder, the individual tends to eat a highly restrictive diet, and even avoids eating altogether due to a very low appetite, The low appetite stems from a fear of choking or gaining too much weight.

Body Dysmorphia


About Body Dysmorphia

Body Dysmorphia While this isn’t an eating disorder per se, the preoccupation with one’s body and overall appearance can easily become the precursor to an eating disorder. In this disorder, the person becomes so obsessed with their appearance and the desire to be “perfect”, they will (if they can financially afford to do so) engage in multiple plastic surgeries to continue altering their appearance. However, they may also begin eating in a dysfunctional patter to control their weight.


The most effective treatment for an eating disorder is extensive psychotherapy. However, depending on how serious the person’s condition is, they may require in-patient treatment. For example, in the case of Anorexia, many young women and men have eaten so little as to reduce their weight to a dangerously low level. Some adults have been weighed in at under100 pounds!

Psychotherapy, along with nutritional counseling is necessary to empower the individual to understand the root of their eating disorder, and how it affects them individually. Along with these two services, it may also be valuable to engage in some healing therapies to become comfortable with ones’ body again. This could be a combination of some alternative therapies such as massage, acupuncture, and complementary medicine such as Homeopathy.

The type of psychotherapy recommended will vary from person to person.2

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy


About Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps you identify unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones

Dialectical Behavior Therapy


About Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy, a type of CBT that teaches behavioral skills to help you handle stress, manage your emotions and improve your relationships with others

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy


About Acceptance & Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and commitment therapy, which helps you become aware of and accept your thoughts and feelings and commit to making changes, increasing your ability to cope with and adjust to situations

Psychodynamic & Psychoanalysis Therapies


About Psychodynamic & Psychoanalysis Therapies

Psychodynamic & psychoanalysis therapies, which focus on increasing your awareness of unconscious thoughts and behaviors, developing new insights into your motivations, and resolving conflicts

Interpersonal Psychotherapy


About Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Interpersonal psychotherapy, which focuses on addressing problems with your current relationships with other people to improve your interpersonal skills — how you relate to others, such as family, friends and colleagues

Supportive Psychotherapy


About Supportive Psychotherapy

Supportive psychotherapy, which reinforces your ability to cope with stress and difficult situations

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Current approach to eating disorders: a clinical update. Hay P.Intern Med J. 2020 Jan;50(1):24-29. doi: 10.1111/imj.14691.

Evidence-based clinical guidelines for eating disorders: international comparison. Hilbert A, Hoek HW, Schmidt R.Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2017 Nov;30(6):423-437. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000360.

Evidence-based clinical guidelines for eating disorders: international comparison. Hilbert A, Hoek HW, Schmidt R.Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2017 Nov;30(6):423-437. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000360.

Position of the American Dietetic Association: nutrition intervention in the treatment of eating disorders. Ozier AD, Henry BW; American Dietetic Association.J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Aug;111(8):1236-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2011.06.016.

Eating Disorders in Children and Adolescents.

Dawson R.Pediatr Ann. 2018 Jun 1;47(6):e230-e231. doi: 10.3928/19382359-20180523-01.

Epidemiology and treatment of eating disorders in men and women of middle and older age. Mangweth-Matzek B, Hoek HW.Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2017 Nov;30(6):446-451. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000356.

Medical management of eating disorders: an update. Voderholzer U, Haas V, Correll CU, Körner T.Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2020 Nov;33(6):542-553. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000653.