There’s no question that eating disorders are among the most prevalent conditions in the world. In fact, statistics show that more than 30 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from an eating disorder. However, recovery is highly attainable with roughly 80% of patients who underwent intensive treatment showing significant improvement.
It is true that letting go of a bad eating habit is difficult to do. This habit further feeds a negative mindset towards food, consequently leading to an increased likelihood of developing an eating disorder.
The pathway to recovery starts with fully admitting that you have a problem. This can be tough, especially if you have that belief that looking physically good is your key to happiness, confidence, and success. Moreover, even after you finally realized and accepted the fact that you have a serious issue, old habits die hard.
The good news is that the behavior and thoughts you’ve learned can also be unlearned with the right outlook and substantial effort. With that, we discuss how to tackle this health problem positively:
Communication is the key
Once you’ve made up your mind to be better, opening up about the problem is an important step to recovery. Of course, it would be better to choose whom you’re going to open up to.
Be patient and expect violent reactions
Your family and friends will somehow have their own emotional reactions upon knowing about your eating disorder. They may feel shocked, sad, confused, helpless, or sometimes, angry. They may not know how to respond and help you. Give them time to absorb what you told them and educate them about your specific eating disorder.
Be precise about how your family can help you
Ask them to help you find treatment and accompany you to see a doctor. You can also ask for some other way of supporting your recovery like regularly checking on how you feel. Be vocal about what you need because your loved ones will definitely be happy to assist you.
Get professional treatment
Truth be told, there are a lot of treatment options available that vary for different types of eating disorders. Individual needs also play a part in designing a recovery plan. It is important to find the treatment that works best for you.
An effective treatment must not just address your symptoms and bad eating habits, but also the main causes and underlying reasons for the problem. For example, it can be the emotional aspects that initially triggered your disorder.
Work with a team
It is important to have a team of experts that can address the problem in all angles, such as a dietitian for correcting your eating habits and a therapist for improving your mental health. Focus on finding qualified medical professionals who can make you feel accepted, comfortable, and safe. You can even join a support group consisting of individuals battling with the same problem.
Commit to a long-term treatment plan
Once your health problems are regulated, your treatment team will have you undergo a long-term eating disorder recovery program, which involves periodical assessments and regular checkups. Be sure to adhere to all necessary procedures along the way.
Overcoming an eating disorder is not only about giving up unhealthy eating habits. It is also a learning platform to help you cope with the emotional pain you have been through and rediscovering who you are beyond your physical image.
This may seem overwhelming, but just a reminder — you are not alone. Help is always there and recovery is not unattainable. By having the right support system and guidance, you can break free from your disorder’s damaging pattern, optimize your health, and find happiness in life again.