Treatment of Anorexia nervosa

Treatment for anorexia nervosa tries to address three main areas. 1) Restoring the person to a healthy weight; 2) Treating the psychological disorders related to the illness; 3) Reducing or eliminating behaviours or thoughts that originally led to the disordered eating.

Drug treatments, such as SSRI or other antidepressant medication, have not been found to be generally effective for either treating anorexia, or preventing relapse although it has also been noted that there is a lack of adequate research in this area.

Family based treatment has also been found to be an effective treatment for adolescents with short term anorexia. At 4 to 5 year follow up one study shows full recovery rate of 60 - 90% with 10-15% remaining seriously ill. This compares favourable to other treatments such as inpatient care where full recovery rates vary between 33-55%.