What Are Your Options For Eating Disorder Treatments?

There are many questions to be answered when seeking recovery from an eating disorder – one of the most important is discovering what treatment options are available. In the following article, psychotherapy and prescription medication are explored as options.

What is an eating disorder?

An eating disorder is generally classified in one of six categories: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating, restrictive food intake disorder, Pica, or rumination disorder. Other eating related medical problems include purging and low frequency bulimia. Generally, someone with an eating disorder is classified as anyone who struggles with eating and food issues.


Therapy can last for a couple of months to a handful of years, since many people are not motivated or can’t find the energy to overcome the disorder. Each process of recovery is different.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and dialectical behavior therapy are all options in treating an eating disorder. Other therapies include group therapy, feminist therapies and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).

In some cases, outpatient therapy is simply not enough and inpatient therapy may be needed, as in more intense cases of an eating disorder.


1. Antidepressants
Fluoxetine has decreased both depression and anxiety in anorexic patients. Amittriptyline, a similar antidepressant, has also proven effective.

2. Cyproheptadine
While this prescription drug is used mainly to treat migraines, it has been shown to be an effective appetite stimulant in cystic fibrosis. Therefore, it often decreases the number of days a patient may take to regain normal weight. This drug also functions as a histamine and serotonin antagonist.

3. SSRIs
Prozac, or Fluoxetine, is the only FDA-approved SSRI for eating disorders. It is especially effective in cases of binge eating disorders. Lexapro, it is important to note, is the only SSRI proven not to be effective in preventing binge-eating episodes.

Source: National Eating Disorders

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

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