People living with eating disorders can find hope in treatment that can help aid in recovery. Eating disorder recovery is when a person diagnosed with an eating disorder finds manageable ways to eliminate behaviors of disordered eating. Plus, manage emotions in relation to eating in order to live a healthy and manageable lifestyle of mental health well-being. Unfortunately, even if a person gets help through treatment, relapse is possible, which is reverting back to disordered eating behaviors. That’s why it’s important to choose treatment that teaches and helps individuals living with eating disorders to practice relapse prevention strategies.
Understanding Eating Disorder Relapse
When it comes to eating disorders, what does relapse look like? Unfortunately, for people living with eating disorders, even if they get professional help through treatment, relapse is common. In fact, according to eating disorder studies, up to 41% of anorexia patients relapse within 18 months of treatment concluding.
A relapse episode may look different for individual eating disorder patients. This is because disordered eating behaviors may look different for each individual and every person’s recovery journey is unique. That’s why it’s important to understand individual relapse triggers and what behaviors you are most likely to revert back to after treatment.
While relapse may be common, relapse prevention is successful in helping individuals in eating disorder recovery to obtain coping skills and methods to continue on a path of healing. It’s also important to understand that, even if relapse happens, it doesn’t mean that recovery has to end. So, if relapse does occur, it’s completely possible to get back on track and continue to utilize skills, nutrition education, therapy, and other helpful relapse prevention techniques required to live a healthy lifestyle.
Some Eating Disorder Relapse Prevention Strategies
Since relapse prevention can help individuals in eating disorder recovery from relapsing, they’re important to utilize throughout recovery. Some relapse prevention strategies include:
Establishing and Utilizing a Support System: Support is one of the most important things a person in eating disorder recovery can have. When negative feelings arise and compulsive disordered eating behaviors start crossing your mind, support is there to encourage you to continue with recovery. Plus, remind you how far you’ve come and how important it is to maintain healthy mindsets and routines. Support can include eating disorder communities, peer support, and friends who encourage your recovery.
Identify Your Personal Triggers: As mentioned, triggers for relapse can be unique to each individual in eating disorder recovery. So, it’s important to identify yours. This way, you can avoid triggers that may lead you to revert back to disordered eating behaviors. And, learn coping skills in order to overcome these triggers when they arise in your own life.
Don’t Feel Ashamed to Get Help: In many cases, relapsing makes a person feel that they’ve failed recovery. But, that’s just not the case. Relapse is a common and sometimes even necessary part of the recovery process. The most important thing to understand is that relapse doesn’t and shouldn’t be the end of the recovery journey. So, if you find yourself reverting back to disordered eating behaviors, don’t be afraid to get the help you need.
Getting Help After Relapse from Willow Place for Women
Have you or a loved one recently relapsed and need help with disordered eating? Willow Place for Women is a women’s only, outpatient eating disorder facility in Asheville, North Carolina. Reach out to us for a confidential consultation today.