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5 Tips for Preparing Your Home if Receiving Outpatient Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa

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If you suffer from anorexia nervosa or another eating disorder, there are several types of treatment available to you. Depending on the mental and physical symptoms you suffer due to your condition, you may be eligible for outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment means that you will be able to stay at home and continue with most of your daily activities. However, you will regularly meet with a doctor, psychologist, or nutritionist to monitor your progress and make sure your condition does not get worse. If you are planning to enroll in an outpatient treatment program, there are several things you can do to help get your home ready for your treatment. 

Get Rid of Your Scale 

Many patients with anorexia nervosa use scales obsessively to check their weight and make sure that they are not gaining weight or are continuing to lose weight. If this applies to you, a scale can become a daily temptation that can prevent you from making progress with your disorder. During daily or weekly check-ins, your health care provider will weigh you and make sure that you are gaining an appropriate amount of weight. 

It is a good idea to remove it during the beginning stages of treatment. Eventually, your health care provider may suggest having a scale in your home to help you see that some of your fears regarding the amount of weight you gain from a single meal are unfounded.

Reduce the Number of Mirrors in Your Home 

Many patients with anorexia nervosa have a distorted view of their body. You may find that you often stare into a mirror and focus on negative aspects of your weight or appearance. Get rid of mirrors in your home or cover them with fabric to reduce the amount of time you focus on your appearance each day. Your health care provider may suggest that you utilize photography as opposed to mirrors to help build a more realistic self-image. 

You do not have to get rid of all of your mirrors, but consider covering your full-length mirrors during the beginning of your treatment. 

Stock Your Home With Nutritious Food 

You may find it difficult to eat during some parts of your treatment. It can be even more difficult when you have to go out and purchase food. To make sure you get started right, have someone go shopping for you and fill your home with nutritious foods. If you live with a roommate or family, create a pantry plan to make sure that your home is always well-stocked with food. As your treatment progresses, your nutritionist can help you decide which staples you should always have available to you. 

Make Sure You Have Support

Often, stress caused by interpersonal relationships can exacerbate eating disorders. Before deciding if outpatient treatment is right for you, you may want to discuss your current living arrangements with a psychologist to help determine if you have an adequate support network at home. You should make sure that you have a friend or family member that you can talk to while you are going through treatment and that your current relationships will not distract you from your recovery. 

Create a Quiet Place for Writing in Your Journal

As an outpatient, you will likely be asked to keep a food journal as well as a journal about your body image and emotions. This may be solely for you or you may be asked to share it with your health care provider during sessions. It is important that you keep your journal in a prominent place so you will remember to write in it on a daily basis. For example, you may want to keep your food journal in the kitchen but keep your personal journal in a cozy corner of your bedroom. 

Preparing your home for outpatient treatment is an important step to outpatient recovery. For more tips on how you can prepare, read more or talk to your health care provider.