National Eating Disorders Association

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afraid of treatment

I've read many posts here but haven't found any that relate to my current situation. I began outpatient treatment in the fall but was eventually recommended for a higher level of care. I am terrified. I previously recovered with only outpatient therapy and my own will power, as I could not afford any additional resources at that time, and there were no alternatives available in my city at that time. So when I relapsed recently and sought help again, I had no clue higher level of care might be necessary. I'm basically not allowed to remain outpatient. If I don't agree to IOP, then I will be kicked out of the treatment center where I've been receiving help.

I like my therapist and believe she has helped me immensely, and I'm confused and distressed about being forced into making this decision. I haven't found my sessions with the dietitian to be helpful at all, and I don't think I can follow the rigid guidelines and schedule of IOP. I don't even know if I am ready to or want to. They have told me there are no unexcused absences allowed at all. I don't know how I can keep up with work and all my other obligations in addition to spending 14 hours a week in IOP, plus travel time. I have no support from friends or family.

I know this is a wonderful opportunity to finally conquer my eating disorder--one that was not previously available to me, and that many other people lack access to. But knowing that doesn't help me feel differently. I honestly feel like all the stress around IOP is making things worse, and I am tempted to just quit, but I'm also afraid of what might happen when I am completely alone again.

Has anyone else experienced this type of high anxiety around treatment? Do you have any tips or advice for how to conquer these feelings? I am supposed to start later on this week, and I feel like support from peers might help me to make the right decision.

Hi, deuxchartreuse, we're

Hi, deuxchartreuse, we're sorry to hear that you're worried about treatment and feel unsupported. We're glad you felt comfortable reaching out here on the forums. Our community guidelines are always available to review here: In the event you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to call the NEDA helpline at 1-800-931-2237 (Monday-Thursday 9:00am-9:00pm, Friday 9:00am-5:00pm EST) or chat with us!