Healing from an Eating Disorder
How to Heal
As with most things, treatment has to be an individual thing if it is to be effective. An anorexic whose body weight is less than 30% of her normal weight may have to be hospitalized and fed to keep her/him from dying. A bulimic whose electrolytes are out of balance (as determined by a blood test) may also have to be hospitalized temporarily. An overeater, whose weight is creating physical trauma to the point of becoming life threatening, may have to be hospitalized. Spending time in the hospital will not bring about a cure. Nor is it likely to be the catalyst that enables the person to get onto, or stay on, the road to recovery. It simply is a stop point where the individual is able to get physically out of danger long enough to (hopefully) begin a treatment plan that will eventually lead to arresting the illness. It was once very popular to send an anorectic to a psychiatric ward for a couple of weeks to "re-feed" her. Parents, family members, and even disillusioned doctors seemed to fall into the trap of believing that if the anorectic gained weight, the overeater lost weight and the bulimic stopped purging for two weeks, a cure had taken place. This is not the case.