Assisted treatment

We know what adults with eating disorders need: a safe environment, nutritional and medical recovery, skills to learn or relearn how to live normally. They need and deserve these things for 6-12 months, or more.

What we don't know is how to make sure sufferers get these things. Even when family is willing to take on the job, and clinical services are available, the patient is often ambivalent, denies a need for care, distrusts loved ones, or cannot follow through long enough to truly recover. has an excellent breakdown of the options for "Assisted Treatment" for mental illness. I think it is time for us in the eating disorder world to consider how to use these tools when needed:
  • Out-patient Commitment
  • Conditional Release
  • Representative Payee
  • Guardianship
  • Benevolent coercion/Court-ordered treatment
  • Assertive Case Management
  • Treatment programs in residential facilities
  • Psychiatric Advance Directives


  1. It's an "interesting" phenomenon that in the UK eating disorders (along with personality disorders and addictions) aren't considered to be mental illnesses under the tightest legal definitions, and therefore none of this wise advice would apply here. Just another case of the law being what Charles Dickens said it was (always thought it was Shakespeare, thanks for the opportunity to look it up).


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