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Eating Disorders If you or someone close to you is struggling with an eating disorder, reach out here to ask questions or to receive support for recovery.

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Exclamation Treatment center - September 25th 2018, 02:07 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of eating disorders, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

I just got done talking to my therapist. In the past few weeks, my treatment team has grown a lot. I started working with a dietician, school nurse, school counselor and also support from family. Apparently my dietician and therapist are extremely worried about the fact that Iíve been heavily restricting a lot more than Iíve ever done before. This time, I have an extremely stubborn attitude towards it and I feel like Iím possessed by some external being telling me what to do or not do. Iím losing pieces of myself.

I told my therapist that my worst fear is being told that I have to go to a treatment center. A part of me actually really wants to do that because I think it could be so helpful. Iím just worried about my parents finding out that itís getting worse and they might not accept the idea of a treatment center. Does anyone else have experience with this? My therapist is leaning towards the idea that I might really need to go inpatient and she suggested that I get an evaluation from a doctor to see if it is necessary.

If I did have to go, what types of things would I expect? Do you know what itís like? Do you have experience with one?

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Re: Treatment center - September 25th 2018, 03:23 AM

I don't have experience with an inpatient treatment myself, but I want to still help you if I can.

I just wanted to know more about how you feel like you are possessed by some external being telling you what to do or not do to. I am writing that very similar to how you wrote it; I am wondering if you feel like the fact that the external (force?) is affecting you by being told (instead of telling?) what to or not to do. Do you mean this abstractly? Or do you simply mean your treatment team? I just want to clarify what you mean. If you feel like your treatment team or family is, in a sense, controlling you and rushing you to get better right away and that is only having the reverse affect because you're not ready to get "better", then I think you need to ask yourself why. I mean, obviously getting "better" is going to be, well, better by a healthy standard (e.g. more energy, return of your period if you lost it, ability to enjoy other activities, ability to take pleasure in food versus viewing it as the enemy, or whatever else is happening for you symptomatically or psychologically). But if you're in the throws of having an eating disorder, you're not holding yourself to a healthy standard, I would assume. To you, getting better might mean gaining weight (and having to confront what that means to you), it might feel like you're losing control or any number of other things. I think this is really something you should address with your therapist and other members of your treatment team so that they can hopefully shift the sense of control over your recovery to you, even if it's just a matter of having to remind you that it doesn't have to be perfect tomorrow, or shifting strategies to help you feel more empowered.

If you think that a treatment centre is the best option for you, for sure pursue that. It might be best to see if that'll be suitable for you, if only for the sake of being in a space where you'll have to do nothing but think of recovery for a while.
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Re: Treatment center - September 25th 2018, 05:17 AM

When I said that it feels like being possessed by another being, I meant that this ED feels so much like another force (like the devil) and that I am not truly myself. It’s like I’m mentally being told what to do by this mental illness. The eating disorder is what is controlling me.
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Re: Treatment center - September 25th 2018, 12:42 PM

Hey there,

From what I know, sometimes it can feel like the eating disorder controls us. That's one of the things that treatment centers help people work on. Treatment centers can all be quite different but at the core they try and help their patients identify the underlying causes for the eating disorder in order for the patient to get to a better place and to get to a place where they no longer have to act on the urges.

They will have a strict schedule. You will have groups and scheduled meals. I know that I only went to a Partial Hospitalization Program but the schedule was pretty strict with us arriving at 9am. The meal times can be difficult but it gets easier especially because usually the other patients become your friends and they help to encourage you when you are struggling to eat.

I think that a treatment center can be a great place for someone who is struggling with an ED to go. One thing I suggest is that you all do research on the best one for you. The more you know about the center the better prepared you can be and it might help you to stay away from centers that might not be that great.

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Re: Treatment center - September 26th 2018, 09:52 PM

I've also only done a PHP (partial hospitalization program) and an IOP, which are different from inpatient or residential. However, the concept is generally the same. You will have a strict schedule with meals, snacks, and groups. During your stay you will work with a therapist, dietician, psychiatrist, and possibly a medical doctor. You will at least need medical clearance to enter the treatment program; some places have medical doctors, some do not.

The meals and snacks are pretty regulated; they are supervised by staff and a dietician. You are given a set amount of time in which to complete the meal. It's not all grim or anything; there is usually lively conversation, and many groups will play table games to help make the meal easier. If you don't complete the meal, you will be offered a supplement, such as Boost or Ensure. It's your choice whether to complete it or not, but be warned that they will document how much of your meal you do or don't eat, including the supplement.

Groups will vary. There will probably be some form of process group at least once a week if you're in IOP and a few times a week if you're in PHP (I don't know about residential). Other groups will be skills based, such as DBT (Dialectic Behavior Therapy) and ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). My program had a book group based on "The Eight Keys to Recovery From An Eating Disorder," as well as groups on grief, anger, and body appreciation. You will also have some form of recreational therapy, such as art.

Some places have levels. You have to complete certain tasks/maintain or meet your weight goal in order to move up. When you do move up, you will receive privileges, such as passes and outings. On these things you may have what are called "exposures," where you do things like go to a restaurant or go clothes shopping or to the grocery store, which will be done with a staff member. On your passes you will probably have meal and snack challenges. Your dietician will help you plan for these.

Treatment centers are a great place to go for help. My stints in PHP and IOP have helped me a lot. I would suggest getting that evaluation from a doctor if your therapist recommends it.

Wishing you the best.

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Re: Treatment center - September 27th 2018, 03:42 AM

Thanks all of you. My dietician emailed my mom and I about the results to lab work from the doctor. Apparently I have a lot of deficiencies and everyone is really worried about me. According to them, it is really severe and I need to go inpatient asap. But lets see what my dad says. I might not be allowed to go. Technically I can legally get help without his permission but I would never want to disrespect him.

If any of you believe in God, please pray for me.
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Re: Treatment center - September 27th 2018, 03:58 PM

I think you should still go even if your dad says you can't. I don't think you should see it as being disrespectful for you to say "I'm going, this is what I need to literally not have my health permanently destroyed, if you love me, you should want what is best for me".

I honestly think it would be terrible for you dad not to support you in going to inpatient treatment. It would be one thing if your parents legit cannot afford it (e.g. if it isn't covered by health care services, if it isn't covered by insurance) but then they should frame it as such and offer to help find other more accessible services... but any other reason, to me, feels unacceptable - you're education can wait, if that's an issue, you know that this is what you need to have a full life, and I'm not sure how you're supposed to be an effective student if you're eating disorder is running the show, and I don't give a damn about his reputation; what kind of reputation does he deserve if what his friends and coworkers might think about his kid needing inpatient treatment is worse than what they'll think if you're supposed to just "figure it out" or whatever. I could go on.

My point is that it is lovely that you respect your parents... but I feel like denying you inpatient treatment that you desperately need for any other reason besides a genuinely inability to pay for it is unacceptable and your dad not showing respect for you. You can still respect your dad while advocating for yourself and your needs for the sake of your health and future.
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