How To Recover From An Eating Disorder
Recovery from an eating disorder is possible with support and treatment. Recovery can help a person overcome emotional and physical barriers that stand in the way of a healthy self. Treatment for eating disorders can help the person discover a sense of purpose, enjoy social activities and renew relationships with loved ones.
During eating disorder treatment, the person learns how to gain control of symptoms, work on issues that trigger eating disorder-related behaviors and identify supports to help them along the path to becoming fully recovered.
Life After An Eating Disorder
A residential eating disorder is a supportive, safe place where a person with an eating disorder can go to heal. During treatment, the person is surrounded by a support network of therapists, recovered staff and peers. This support is nurturing and helps the person heal.
After residential or intensive treatment ends, many people leaving treatment feel overwhelmed by the transition back to daily life. They are not sure what to expect in anorexia nervosa recovery. Many people in recovery wonder if they will be able to maintain the progress that they have made. They might worry about whether or not they will be able to talk to someone when they feel overwhelmed. These thoughts are normal.
Fortunately, there are some things that a person can do after anorexia nervosa recovery to maintain the gains that they have made in residential or intensive treatment. Here are some things to help life after anorexia nervosa recovery go smoothly.
Have a good support system in place
Recovery is an ongoing process. It is a good idea for anyone who is going through recovery from eating disorders to have constant support throughout their recovery journey. This guidance can help them with accountability and vulnerability as well. A support network can help a person get the extra help that they need to face and cope with challenging circumstances which will occur post eating disorder treatment.
Be Able To Identify Triggers
Many things can trigger someone to relapse after anorexia nervosa recovery. Triggers can include things like negative emotions, social pressure and specific places and things. Knowing what those things are can help a person avoid binge eating after anorexia nervosa recovery and stay on the path to being fully recovered.
Consistently Utilize Healthy Coping Skills
It can be tempting for a person who has experienced a triggering event to fall back into eating disorder behaviors, which can lead to a relapse. One of the most important things after anorexia nervosa recovery is that the person consistently uses healthy coping skills to deal with triggers.
Practice Self Care
Self-care is also another important aspect of life after an eating disorder. Doing things like getting enough sleep, nourishing the body with healthy foods and eating regularly is an essential part of self-care. Maintaining proper nutrition and exercise can help a person achieve metabolism recovery after anorexia nervosa. Working with a dietician post-discharge is ideal to ensure adequate nutrition.
The Long-Term Effects Of Anorexia Nervosa After Recovery
Eating disorder treatment is a long-term process. The long-term effects of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders continue to affect a person after they have left residential treatment. For this reason, aftercare that includes a comprehensive discharge plan is key to becoming fully recovered from an eating disorder. Aftercare can help a person know what to expect when recovering from bulimia nervosa.
A program that includes aftercare support will ensure that the client is better prepared to handle situations that may come up in real life that could trigger a relapse in eating disorder symptoms. This support will help reduce the risk of relapse and give the client a far better chance of becoming fully recovered.
What Does Fully Recovered Mean?
Carolyn Costin, who is an author, speaker and who is also fully recovered from anorexia nervosa says that a person has fully recovered when they can accept their natural body shape and size and no longer has a destructive relationship with exercise or food. A person who is fully recovered, a person no longer believes that their weight is more important than who they are as a person.