The Holidays and Financial Loss After Eating Disorder Treatment

Woman with in eating disorder recovery

The holiday season is often hyped up with an overfocus on materialism. There is constant barrage of consumerism, even well before the holidays even arrive. It seems like every source of mainstream media is flooded with things that we “need” to buy. Many of us feel pressured to accumulate or purchase things in order to live up to the expectations that are often centered around the holiday season. How can you best work through this in recovery, especially when finances are challenged after eating disorder treatment?

Dealing With Financial Stress

Anyone who has gone through professional treatment for eating disorder recovery can attest to the fact that healthcare is costly. Many individuals who are suffering through and recovering from an eating disorder often require intervention with professional treatment. For some, this might include a temporary inpatient hospitalization, residential treatment, intensive outpatient care, or a variety of different kinds of services. While professional eating disorder treatment is invaluable and a necessity for preserving life, not everyone necessarily has the funds to pay outright. This is especially true if services are paid for out of pocket due to lack of insurance coverage.

It is not uncommon for families to go to any financial end to come up with the means necessary to pay for treatment. This may mean maxing out a credit card, taking out a second mortgage, selling valuables, taking on additional employment, and more. These types of scenarios may leave families with little extra to spare financially, especially when it comes to the holiday season.

Keeping Focused on the Gift of Recovery

Holiday presentDuring a time of year when there is pressure to buy and make the holidays more materialistic, hold close the things that are really important. If you have had the opportunity to go through treatment and are in recovery as a result, celebrate this as your most cherished gift. Your life and health are greater than any material gift you could possibly buy or be given. While your bank account might be next to none, stay focused on those things which money cannot buy.

Spend this holiday season surrounding yourself with loved ones who truly cherish and appreciate you. There are many different things you can do and enjoy this holiday season that cost little to nothing, like seeing Christmas lights together, enjoying cocoa by a fire, playing games, and watching holiday favorite movies. Treatment is costly, and recovering financially can be difficult, but having your life is the most priceless thing of all to be celebrated.

Community Discussion – Share Your Thoughts Here!

What are some of your holiday favorite traditions that you can do for little to no money?


Crystal Headshot 2About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Director of Content and Social Media for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.


The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on December 5, 2016
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com