Inpatient Or Outpatient: Which Eating Disorder Treatment Approach Is Better For You?

Posted on: 31 July 2020

Eating disorders can be difficult to manage and treat, but realizing that you do need treatment is a very big first step towards recovery. If you've reached this stage, then you have a decision to make. Should you register for an outpatient treatment program, or should you stay at an eating disorder treatment clinic for a while? There's no cut-and-dry answer. Instead, you should consider the benefits of both approaches.

Benefits of Outpatient Treatment

The primary advantage of outpatient treatment is that you don't have to disrupt your life to seek care. You can keep working or going to school and simply schedule your appointments around those obligations. This may be a better option for you financially if you cannot afford to give up your income for a time. Some patients do better with outpatient treatment because it allows them to keep up with their daily routines and relationships that give them confidence and stability,

Outpatient treatment is also more affordable. Some health insurance companies cover outpatient treatment for eating disorders, but they don't cover inpatient care. Check with your health insurance company to be sure. 

Benefits of Inpatient Therapy

The benefit of inpatient therapy is that you receive a full, immersive treatment experience. If there are friends or family members in your life who enable your eating disorder, inpatient care allows you to recover away from their influence. There will be practitioners on-site constantly to make sure you are eating and following your treatment plan. For many people, this will mean a faster recovery with fewer relapses. If you are in very poor physical health, this monitoring also makes inpatient treatment the safest option.

Another benefit of inpatient treatment is that it gives you access to many different types of practitioners in one place. For instance, you can meet with a dietitian at 1:00 and then stroll on down to your therapist's office for a session at 2:00. A comprehensive approach like this can ensure the root cause of your eating disorder actually gets addressed. Scheduling all of these meetings individually can be a lot harder if you opt for inpatient treatment. 

For patients who are in relatively okay health and who need to remain in work or school, outpatient care is a good option. However, for others with more complicated home lives or serious physical health ailments, outpatient care is often better. It's your recovery, so do what feels right to you.

Contact an eating disorder center to learn more.