Eating Disorder Treatment Might Just Make You Anxious

April 4, 2013 Jessica Hudgens

Writing an eating disorder blog, I walk a fine line. This is not my personal blog for me to whine and complain about everything that is going tough for me in recovery, and certainly not the place for me to discuss my weight, BMI, or specific behaviors. At the same time, this blog was never meant to read like a peer-reviewed journal article, sterile and clinical. There are plenty of resources out there written by professionals - which I am not - that can tell you all about the ins and outs of symptoms of eating disorders, their treatment, their recovery. In fact, there is a lot of great information in HealthyPlace's own Eating Disorder Community section.

So today, you just get a personal entry. Where I am in recovery. What I'm struggling with. What the next few weeks will bring for me.

In one week, I'll be in treatment again. I'm starting inpatient eating disorder treatment center, then moving over to residential as soon as we're sure I'm medically stable. The hope is that it can be a short(er) stay - somewhere in the neighborhood of a month or two, not four like last time. I'm going in with a better attitude (i.e., I'm not being forced this time), so that is a huge factor. I won't be fighting the system and fighting against recovery for the first month and a half. I want recovery from my eating disorder - badly.

But I'm still scared.

You Are Not Alone In Your Anxiety

I say this because it is a completely normal reaction to going into any level of treatment - and I think that sometimes we, as sufferers, feel silly about being nervous or scared, when in fact, we all do it. I remember the first time I saw an outpatient therapist and being gripped by panic for hours before our weekly sessions. She is one of the kindest, most gentle people I know (except when she is giving me the what-for, which is sometimes needed), but I still worried every time I went in.

I think some of this anxiety is the worry about meeting someone new, someone we're not quite sure we can trust, regardless of the credentials behind their name. I daresay I'm not the only person with trust issues, and to be honest, it took months for me to feel genuinely comfortable with that therapist and tell her authentic things that went below the surface.

Even going back to the same treatment center and the same team that I had last summer, I am nervous.

[caption id="attachment_1316" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="This is my brain right now. (Art credit to Mark Todd)"][/caption]

I know I can trust my therapist and dietitian there because they didn't have me do anything crazy last time and I truly believe that what they were asking me to do was in the best interest of my recovery. But...what will we talk about this time? What will my meal plan look like? Which care techs are going to be working on my unit? Is everyone going to be disappointed that I'm back less than a year later?

The only piece of advice I can give you on this dilemma is this: talk about it. And talk about. And then talk about it some more. Who you talk to about this is fairly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, so long as it is someone you trust to keep your confidence and not feed into the anxiety. For my part, I've been talking to my therapist, my dietitian, my friends, and God. A lot.

Talking about it isn't going to be the magic cure-all for this anxiety. It certainly hasn't been for me. As my flight to Salt Lake City draws nearer, my anxiety continues to play the "what if" game. There are still so many things to worry about, so many unknowns that are unappealing to this control freak.

But talking about it means that I am reaching out - something that I don't do well in my eating disorder. And reaching out is vitally important to my continued recovery when I get home. While it doesn't seem like much, being honest about my anxieties about treatment and letting people be with me in that anxiety prepares me for making the fullest use of my [awesome!] support system when I return home in...?

I'll be off the grid for a month or two (but hopefully not more) while I focus on my treatment, recovery, and healing. I've got a few blogs scheduled to post while I'm gone and I encourage all of you to continue to have conversations with each other and with people in your life about how you are struggling and how you are succeeding.

You will all be in my thoughts while I am gone!

APA Reference
Hudgens, J. (2013, April 4). Eating Disorder Treatment Might Just Make You Anxious, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 22 from

Author: Jessica Hudgens

April, 4 2013 at 5:35 am

Thank you so much for writing this! I give you a ton of credit for talking about it and sharing your anxiety about it openly and honestly. I will also be heading into inpatient in a month, and I really needed to read that it's ok to be anxious, and that I need to talk about that. Good luck to you, take care, and I hope all goes well for you!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Jessica Hudgens
April, 8 2013 at 3:50 am

So glad that you are taking the steps you need to get help. Your anxiety is totally normal and I hope you find some trustworthy folks to talk to about it!
Best of luck!

April, 4 2013 at 3:43 am

You will be in my thoughts while you're gone. Praying your anxiety will dissipate quickly! Love you!

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