Everything You Need to Know About Anorexia Outpatient Treatment

What is anorexia outpatient treatment? What impact does it have on culture and social media? Read on to learn more about anorexia and treatment options.

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Anorexia Outpatient Treatment: an Overview

Anorexia nervosa is an illness that can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. It’s a mental illness that causes people to fear gaining weight, seeing their body differently than it is, and having a low weight. It’s a severe sickness, and it can even be deadly.

Thankfully, doctors have a particular type of treatment called anorexia outpatient treatment to help people with anorexia find healing. This treatment is for people with anorexia who do not need to stay in the hospital. They are provided with the help and support they need while also being able to stay integrated in their everyday lives.1

Anorexia Outpatient Treatment

Questions About Treatment?

Let us guide you through your options and treatment opportunities. Contact Alternative Options today.

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric disorder that affects individuals of all ages and genders. It is diagnosed based on specific signs, such as significant weight loss, a distorted view of one’s body, and a fear of gaining weight. Anorexia nervosa can be either restrictive or binge eating/purging. The restrictive type is characterized by severe caloric restriction.

What Causes Anorexia Nervosa?

Researchers believe that genetic, environmental, and cultural variables cause anorexia nervosa. Genetics may play a role in an individual’s predisposition to anorexia nervosa. Research has shown that individuals with a family history of eating disorders are more likely to develop the condition.

Anorexia nervosa can also be caused by things in the environment such as traumatic events, abuse, and stress. The disorder can contribute to cultural factors like unrealistic body ideals and societal pressures to be thin. Anorexia nervosa can harm the body, including damage to the heart, liver, and other vital organs. Anorexia can cause despair, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.1

The Impact of Culture/Social Media

Anorexia nervosa can be influenced by both culture and social media. Anorexia nervosa can be exacerbated by social and cultural factors, such as unrealistic body ideals and pressures to be thin. For example, the fashion industry often tells people that being thin is the best body type, which can lead to the disorder. People can also get anorexia nervosa if society pressures them to meet unrealistic body standards. This can cause people to diet restrictively and work out an unhealthy, excessive amount – which can be dangerous.

Anorexia nervosa can also be triggered by the use of social media. Instagram, for instance, shows idealized body pictures, which might lower self-esteem and cause illnesses. Anorexia-supporting content on social media can also promote disordered eating.2

Anorexia Outpatient Treatment

Anorexia outpatient treatment helps non-hospitalized patients. Anorexia outpatient treatment allows people to manage their weight, lessen symptoms, and live better. Outpatient treatment is often a step down from inpatient hospitalization, PHP, and IOP.


Anorexia outpatient treatment is typically provided through individual therapy, group therapy, and medical monitoring. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps identify and alter unhealthy thought patterns and behavior regarding eating and one’s physical appearance. Family-based therapy (FBT) is another treatment modality that may be used in outpatient treatment. It involves supporting and educating the family on how to aid the anorexic.

Support Groups

Another resource anorexia outpatient treatment centers commonly utilize is support groups. Support groups may be a part of group therapy. These groups give people with anorexia nervosa a safe place to talk about their problems and get help from others going through the same things. Skills-based groups can also be a part of group therapy. These groups help people learn how to deal with and control the symptoms of anorexia nervosa.

Medical Monitoring

Medical monitoring is also an essential component of anorexia outpatient treatment. People with anorexia nervosa often have serious medical problems, like electrolyte imbalances, that need to be closely watched by a doctor. Regularly checking in with a primary care doctor and monitoring weight, vital signs, and blood work may be part of medical monitoring.3

Treatment Modalities

Doctors use different treatments to help people with anorexia when they don’t have to stay in the hospital. One of these treatments is called outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment often includes the following treatment modalities: 

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps people change their destructive thoughts and behaviors about food and their body. It may also involve slowly getting used to foods or situations that scare them.
  • Family-Based Therapy: Family-based therapy (FBT) is when the family works together to support their loved one and help them understand how to help someone with anorexia. FBT is suitable for young people with anorexia.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) teaches people how to control their emotions and find ways to cope with challenging feelings. It also involves meditation, which helps people be more aware of their thoughts and feelings.
Anorexia Outpatient Treatment

Comparing Anorexia Outpatient Treatment to Other Levels of Care

Outpatient treatment is a way to help people with anorexia nervosa. It’s not as intense as being in the hospital all the time, but it’s more structured than just getting help on your own. There are different levels of treatment depending on how sick someone is. Being in the hospital is the most focused treatment, but it’s typically only for people who are supervised regularly.

Outpatient treatment allows people to continue going to school or work while getting help. This is good because it lets people get better while still being able to do their everyday activities. Outpatient treatment is also less overwhelming and easier to recover from. Not everyone can get outpatient treatment. Some people have symptoms too severe and need to be in the hospital or a more structured program. Sometimes, outpatient treatment isn’t as comprehensive and structured as necessary, so people need additional help and support.4

Receive Guidance and Support at Alternative Options

Alternative Options is a safe and effective place for anorexia outpatient treatment. We offer a great approach that uniquely helps each patient, tailoring each treatment plan to an individual’s unique needs and circumstances. 

Reach Out and Begin Healing

We use treatments that have been proven to work and make sure everyone feels cared for and supported. The team at Alternative Options is made up of well-trained professionals who are experts at helping people recover from anorexia. They offer many different services, such as monitoring your health, advising you what to eat, talking about your feelings, and helping your family understand how to help you.

Our Alternative Options family has helped many people overcome anorexia and stay healthy. If you are struggling with anorexia, we are here to help. Reach out today and receive the support and care you need and deserve.

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