Benefits of Traveling Out-of-State for Eating Disorder Treatment
By: Deanna McMichael
Published: June 28, 2023

Traveling for eating disorder treatment can be a daunting prospect, especially if it means leaving the safety of one’s home and familiar surroundings. But there are many benefits to traveling to receive specialized care and support away from your hometown. In this piece, we will explore the advantages of seeking eating disorder treatment in a different place and the healing power of new surroundings.  

Access to Specialized Treatment

Traveling for treatment can give individuals access to specialized treatment programs that may not be available in their local area. These programs may have a specific focus on eating disorders, with experienced professionals and a more intensive treatment approach. 

A 22 year follow up study on the recovery of anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) patients, which included findings from other studies, found that recovery rates for AN and BN are close to 50% after treatment. By providing a safe, supportive environment, inpatient programs help individuals identify underlying issues related to their eating disorder and develop healthier coping strategies. Inpatient treatment centers often provide access to a network of peers who are also struggling with similar issues. This network can be invaluable in providing emotional support during the recovery process. 

Moreover, specialized treatment centers like Koru Spring typically use a multidisciplinary approach, meaning that professionals from different areas, such as therapists, nutritionists, and physicians, work together to provide comprehensive care for residents. This integrated approach helps address the root causes of eating disorders and gives residents the tools they need to maintain long-term recovery.  

A Change of Environment

Being in an unfamiliar environment can provide a break from triggers and stressors that may contribute to an individual’s eating disorder. It can also provide a fresh perspective and a chance to start anew. 

In many cases, an individual’s immediate surroundings or daily routine may be contributing factors to their eating disorder. Removing oneself from those surroundings can offer a sense of relief, allowing one to focus on healing and recovery. 

Increased Privacy

Traveling for treatment can provide a greater level of privacy for individuals seeking treatment, as they are not in their local community where they may be known or recognized. 

With increased privacy, you may feel more comfortable and willing to share your thoughts and feelings with your treatment team. Without the worry of being judged, you can focus on your treatment and what you need to do to heal. 

One of the treatment modalities used is family therapy and can help facilitate positive conversations with loved ones while still maintaining physical distance and learning to set healthy boundaries.  When you are away from home, you can establish new connections with your treatment team and peers while still maintaining relationships with family and friends. 

Increased Commitment to Recovery

When someone travels for treatment, they are making a significant commitment to their recovery. This commitment can help individuals stay more focused and motivated to participate in their treatment program. 

Seeking treatment away from home can offer a new sense of commitment to recovery, as you are fully removing yourself from those familiar and potentially triggering environments.  Being away from home can also provide the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the treatment process without the distractions of daily life. Instead, your sole focus is on recovery, allowing for increased dedication and progress. Additionally, being in a new environment with others who are also seeking treatment can create a sense of community and support, providing additional motivation to stay committed to recovery. 

Eating Disorder Treatment Can Help Manage Co-occurring Conditions

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that can be associated with a variety of physical and psychological co-occurring conditions. These can range from depression and anxiety to cardiovascular problems, gastrointestinal issues, and substance abuse. Common co-occurring conditions associated with eating disorders include: 

  • Anxiety disorders – Studies show that of people with an eating disorder, up to 42% had a social anxiety disorder diagnosis; 26% had post-traumatic stress disorder; 23% had generalized anxiety disorder; and 3% had panic or agoraphobia. 
  • Depression – Studies show that 94% of people who were hospitalized for an eating disorder also had mood disorders, with major depression being the majority.  

For those in recovery from an eating disorder, it is important to recognize the potential for these conditions to arise simultaneously and seek treatment for them as well. By understanding the common co-occurring conditions associated with eating disorders, individuals in recovery can better manage their journey towards health and wellness. 

Opportunity for Self-reflection

Being away from familiar surroundings can give individuals an opportunity for self-reflection and personal growth. They can focus solely on their recovery and learn more about themselves in the process. 

Traveling for eating disorder treatment is a great way to learn about yourself and what you want out of life. It can also allow you the opportunity to develop healthy relationships with others. When you are traveling for eating disorder treatment, you often meet people from all around the country who have similar struggles and fears as you do. It may seem strange at first, but these interactions can help improve your mental health condition by allowing you to open up about yourself without feeling judged or criticized by others around you. 

If you or a loved one are struggling with an eating disorder, we have an amazing treatment facility at Koru Spring in Jacksonville, Florida.  

Call Koru Spring Now: 844.951.1888

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