Sometimes it's helpful to be reminded that what seems unthinkable becomes believable when it is given new perspective.
For anyone struggling with an eating disorder, you know it is a long and, oftentimes, discouraging process. You may wonder, at times or maybe even most of the time, if recovery is possible. It's easy to say, "Have hope." It's another thing to find hope.
To start the week off, I wanted to remember a few facts; not fleeting, feel-good, come-back-to earth illusions, but true, sink your soul into them, gather them up and find hope in them, cold hard facts. There is no denying that the statistics for recovery from an eating disorder are hopeful.
Here are just a few:
"76% of sample (anorexia nervosa) studied for 10-15 years after admission met criteria for full recovery." - Strober, Freeman, Morrell (1997)
"Treatment works. Of those followed 5-10 years, approximately half of sample had recovered and 25% had improved with some residual symptoms." -Garfinkel (1995)
Excerpt from “Overcoming Binge Eating” by Dr. Christopher G. Fairburn
“The cognitive behavioral approach to treating binge eating problems has been studied extensively over the last fifteen years. Major research projects conducted at Rutgers, Stanford, Minnesota, Vermont, Toronto, Edinburgh, Cambridge, and Oxford have produced remarkably consistent findings. Like antidepressant drugs, these studies have found that cognitive behavioral therapy has an immediate affect on the frequency of binge eating. Even more encouraging, though, is that the effect is not only greater in magnitude than with antidepressant drugs, but also longer lasting. For example, the most recent study from my group in Oxford obtained a 90% average reduction by the end of treatment that was maintained one and six years later” (the follow up periods in this particular study).
All of these studies involve components of a multidisciplinary approach including nutrition therapy, psychotherapy*, medical monitoring, and, in some cases, psychotrophic therapy. These methods of treatment are used conjointly, in both inpatient and outpatient settings, depending on the patient and where he or she is in the recovery process.
* Cognitive behavioral therapy, mentioned earlier, is only one form of psychotherapy. Some forms of psychotherapy may be more helpful than others depending on the patient. Nutriton therapists and psychotherapists work closely together when treating eating disorders. The following link may be helpful if you are looking to put together a knowledgeable treatment team.
Contributed by Monica Van Winkle, MS, RD