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Anorexia recovery may require a different path for everyone, depending on the severity of one's particular case. In most situations, anorexia recovery will involve processes such as individual and family therapy, nutritional and meal planning assistance, and monitoring by a medical professional. For people with severe anorexia, an inpatient treatment program may be necessary, and some individuals may need to be hospitalized for a period of time in order to begin gaining weight. Anorexia recovery is a lengthy process, and many people also follow an aftercare plan for years even once they are considered to be "recovered" by a physician.
The goal of anorexia recovery is of course to help the individual become physically healthy, with positive eating and exercise habits. In addition, the process is intended to help the individual with anorexia develop healthier relationships with food, as well as to increase self esteem and to resolve any personal issues that may be causing the anorexia. This is why therapy is a vitally important part of anorexia recovery, because it can help the individual to get to the root of any personal issues that are causing him or her to believe that weight loss is the key to happiness.
The first step in anorexia recovery generally involves visiting one's family physician to discuss the eating disorder. He or she may do a complete medical workup to determine if any specific medical problems are present, and will then be able to refer the patient to an eating disorder specialist, or a few different individuals such as a psychologist and a nutritionist, among others. Each of these people will assist the patient in a different aspect of anorexia recovery; for instance, a nutritionist will help the individual plan meals without reverting back to a strict, regimented plan.
Different types of therapy make up some of the most important aspects of anorexia recovery; some people simply attend individual therapy, while others will attend group or family therapy. Joining a support group to discuss the disorder with other people who are also in the recovery process can be very beneficial as well. A therapist will also be able to determine if there are any particular triggers in the individual's life that may cause him or her to revert to old eating habits, such as periods of stress or depression, and will be able to offer coping techniques to avoid these triggers.
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