Two residential treatment centers in Vermont open their doors to eating disorder clients specifically. One treats co-existing conditions. The other does not. One is for females, adult and adolescent. The other is for everyone. Neither accepts insurance: they are self-pay clinics only.
If the idea of paying for your own eating disorder care without financial assistance or insurance puts you off, you are not alone. When you live at a center, the costs are necessarily high because insurance, meals, and energy bills are also high. Still, there is something about residential care which gives clients a comfort not available from outpatient treatment.
Clients are patients 24 hours a day. Patients can ring a bell and talk to a counselor if they have panic attacks or they are tempted to do something foolish. They are encouraged to ring that bell. As an outpatient living at home with a spouse or parents, it would be difficult to do these things.
Not only is family not trained to understand the issues, they are burned out by them. Who knows how much more a person will be willing to take? Instead, it is tempting to let mom or a husband sleep and put in 2 sneaky hours on a treadmill at 2 am or binge on cookies and vomit them up.
Eating Disorder Tuition
If your attitude to food is disordered, you might not know exactly how or why. Getting back to basics is important rather than trying to build on existing ideas and habits. Vermont clients learn what nutrition is and what poor nutrition is doing to the way they think, to their energy, and to their moods.
Many people think of junk food as consolation in times of depression (check out what junk food REALLY does to the body, in the video below). In reality, there are foods which promote brain health and mood stability.
Psychiatric professionals explore issues in the lives of their clients so they know where treatment should start. It often begins with diagnosing a mental illness. Certain kinds of mental illness provoke behaviors like compulsive overeating or bulimia. Often the shame of suffering from disordered eating adds to feelings of depression and makes the problem worse.
Family in Therapy
Even if your daughter has anorexia, you are part of the problem and the solution as a parent. You might not mean to make things worse, and in many families what you are doing would not lead to the kind of trouble your daughter is in. Still, the only situation you know is yours. Changes need to be made, some subtle, some extreme.
Therapists invite the parents of underage clients to take part in workshops and family therapy. This is a chance for the child and her parents to talk about problems with a mediator or facilitator keeping things safe and directing the flow of discussion. This makes it productive and allows outpourings of sometimes unpleasant emotions to lead to something positive.
If you cannot afford residential treatment or you think your condition is moderate, you could visit a Vermont counselor, or seek assistance in nearby New Hampshire, New York, Maine, or Massachusetts. Several of these professionals address eating disorder issues, but not exclusively. Their varied expertise, however, allows them to identify relationships between disordered eating and learning disabilities, divorce, and anxiety.