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How to Get Help for an Eating Disorder

Learn how to get help for an eating disorder from Allegra Broft, M.D. in this Howcast video.


If you're watching this video on how to get eating disorders help, you're actually probably already doing a very potentially helpful step in trying to get yourself to eating disorder help, which is that you're looking on the internet trying to find treatment resources.

The internet can be one terrific tool for trying to locate eating disorders help. There's probably way too many websites for me to mention in any one brief video describing how to get help. I will mention the website of the National Eating Disorders Association, which is a national eating disorders advocacy group that often has very helpful information of a variety of domains, including referrals for treatment options. That can be one great organization to search.

One approach, if you're using the internet to look for treatment options is, that you can look for academic medical centers. Academic medical centers are likely, in at least some cases, to have some good treatment options, perhaps an eating disorders treatment center on their campus. If not, they will, hopefully, at least have someone within their department of psychiatry that is aware of eating disorder treatment options through the city or the greater area in which you're living.

What I like about academic medical centers is that the treatment centers there are often informed with some of the latest research in the area of eating disorders. That's actually true of academic medical centers in general. That they are often very abreast of the latest breakthroughs that are going on in their particular field so that treatment associated with a center like an academic medical center will be informed by those types of research findings and breakthroughs.

There are other options for getting help. Sometimes, especially if you're not living in a major urban area or you're not living close to an area with an academic medical center, or your resources are limited, a very smart place to start is to contact your insurance company and find out what kinds of specialists that they have that identify themselves as competent in eating disorders.

Sometimes you can go online with insurance company websites and you can do a search for different types of providers. Sometimes it's more useful to contact insurance companies directly. Whatever the case, in the end, any resource that you can use, whether its networking through friends or people that you know that may be struggling with these types of problems, or even taking a shot and going with your insurance company and finding somebody on your plan that you may or may not is a good provider, is an important first step.

You may have to keep in mind that trial and error is necessary. You may meet one person or one treatment center and that may or may not feel like a good fit. Whatever the case, don't give up. Keep trying to contact different treatment centers trying to collect information until you can find a setting that feels comfortable for you, because treatment is really essential for recovery from these disorders.

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