What Is the Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient Eating Disorder Treatments?

Woman standing in front of blue background standing with arms out at the side weighing her options.

Treating eating disorders requires expert techniques and researched analysis applied specifically for individual cases. Both inpatient and outpatient programs are frequently used treatment plans that eventually lead to a full recovery for many clients. As effective as they are, both treatments are valuable in their own ways, and understanding their differences is the best way to determine which option works best. It’s only then that professionals can see a major impact in the recovery process for people suffering from eating disorders.

It’s Important to Recognize That You Need Treatment

Whether you’re suffering from bulimia nervosa or any other eating disorder or if you’re just someone scouring the internet for information, the first step to understanding the treatment methods is to recognize if you or someone you know needs them. Signs and symptoms of eating disorders vary but generally include:

  • Restricting food intake
  • Avoidance of social situations with food
  • Distorted body image
  • Excessive exercise
  • Extreme weight loss

If you or someone you know exhibits any of these signs, they might require an eating disorder treatment program. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a treatment facility like Magnolia Creek for help.

What Are Residential Treatment Programs?

Residential eating disorder treatment typically involves clients getting 24-hour care in a live-in treatment center. One of the biggest differences with residential treatment is that clients are placed under medical supervision for an extended period, focusing on an individual’s mental health and ensuring they are medically stable. Residential care is a very structured environment, ensuring that clients can simply focus on healing and overcoming their illness.

What Are Outpatient Treatment Programs?

On the other hand, outpatient treatment programs are for clients who either don’t need intensive medical supervision or clients who have work or school and other important obligations. Most plans are designed for the patient to meet a few times a week for a few hours daily. There are some forms of less intensive outpatient treatment, and other more intensive outpatient care are designed to include family and counseling.

Benefits of Residential Treatment

There are plenty of perks to a residential program, one being just how extensive the supervision is. This ensures individuals stay on track with their treatment plan and prevents downtime that usually hinders progress.

Additionally, with its intensive treatment, relapse risks are greatly reduced compared to other programs. People struggling with emotional responses throughout the program are guaranteed to receive the support they need to fight through the toughest days.

Benefits of Outpatient Treatment

One of the main draws to outpatient treatment is that you get more flexibility for daily tasks and commitments you might have. Outpatient programs may be less intensive, but this leads to lower costs and a greater impact for individuals who react better to less intensive environments. An outlined outpatient program can make it more likely for someone to accept the help they need and commit to improving their health.

If You’re Seeking the Right Treatment Plan for You, Magnolia Creek Has Got You Covered

Finding the right treatment plan for you isn’t as simple as a few google searches. The professional team at Magnolia Creek can help you find the right treatment plan for your eating disorder—whether that be residential, outpatient treatment, or some other alternative.

We provide evidence-based treatment for binge eating disorders and other eating disorders to help restore your relationship with food and your body. Call Magnolia Creek today at 205-409-4220 or complete our contact form if you or a loved one needs residential, outpatient, or any other eating disorder treatment.


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