What Are Some Common Treatments For Anorexia?

Anorexia is an eating disorder that can be life-threatening. Those who suffer from it have a constant fear of gaining weight. They may eat little to nothing most days, may binge eat and then force themselves to purge immediately after eating or they may take excessive amounts of laxatives or diuretics to prevent weight gain. Most who have anorexia have a very distorted image of themselves and truly believe they appear overweight when they are actually dangerously thin. 

There is no standalone treatment that can cure anorexia. Treating this condition often requires a list of different things to help the person to learn how to eat in a healthy manner again. These are some commonly used treatments for those who suffer from anorexia.


Psychotherapy plays an important role in helping an anorexic become healthy. This normally includes both cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy as well. Through psychotherapy, the patient can learn why the problem with anorexia began, what can be done to correct the behavior, and how to enjoy life without constantly worrying about being overweight. For some patients, it is also helpful to have family psychotherapy sessions as well. This teaches the family how best to support the patient to encourage successful treatment and shows the patient the impact their eating disorder has had on their family.


An antipsychotic medication known as olanzapine is sometimes prescribed to help the patient have an increase in appetite to gain weight. However, this medication is also used to help with depression and anxiety that those with eating disorders commonly suffer from.

Nutrition Education

A nutritional counselor can help patients get back on a path to healthy eating. This type of counselor can teach the importance of proper nutrition and what health problems can arise from not eating properly.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is often used in treating anorexics as well. This allows a patient to speak to and become acquainted with others who have also been diagnosed with anorexia. The patients may share their feelings, fears, and experiences with the disease and this helps them feel they have support from others like them.

Treatment for anorexia may be provided at an inpatient facility, in a hospital, or as outpatient care for those patients who are able to remain in their own homes while attending treatment appointments. For those who are severely ill, it is often necessary for them to be admitted to a hospital to receive necessary medical care before beginning a treatment program.

For more information about eating disorder medical treatment services, contact a local treatment center.