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  • Sara

How to Start Healing From Your Eating Disorder

There are many different types of eating disorders, but they all share one common goal: to avoid gaining weight. People with eating disorders often have a distorted view of their body, thinking they are much larger than they actually are. This can lead to dangerous behaviors like starving oneself, purging, and excessive exercising. It can also lead to substance addictions and other means of self-harm.

Having an eating disorder can significantly impact your body image. You can become fixated on your weight, your appearance, and the way you think other people perceive you. It can be hard to break out of that mindset, but it's so important to try.

Your body is just one part of who you are. It doesn't define you. You are so much more than the number on the scale or the size of your clothes. You are smart, you are funny, you are kind. Don't let an eating disorder take that away from you.

If you're struggling with an eating disorder, please reach out for help. There are people who care about you and want to see you get better. You deserve to live a happy, healthy life. If you don’t get help in a timely fashion, EDs can be extremely harmful, leading to malnutrition, organ damage, and even death. You may eventually need to be hospitalized and “force fed” through a tube. Some people who get to this point, unfortunately, don’t survive.

I’m ready.

If you’ve finally come to terms with the fact that you need help, it’s likely you’ve recognized your behavior is self-destructive. You’ve realized you do not want to spend the rest of your life with an eating disorder. Be proud of yourself for getting to the point that you want to ask for help. For many people this is the most difficult part.

If you’ve gotten to this point and don’t know where to go next, you’re not alone. Many ED sufferers feel the same way. Here are some great options to get you started with treatment:

-Your doctor or a mental health professional. Therapists are often trained in addressing EDs and helping clients develop and sustain healthy coping mechanisms that can change one’s mindset and attitude towards food and their body. Doctors can also refer patients to dieticians (sometimes within the same practice) who can help them come up with a nutrient-rich diet to fend of malnutrition. Sometimes prescribing a psychotropic drug can help ease associated symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD, that could be feeding the disorder.

-A support group for people with eating disorders. There are many online and in-person support groups for EDs. You can easily find online groups on social media or simply by searching for them in your area. These meetings can be extremely beneficial because you’ll get a chance to work alongside others who are experiencing the same thing.

-An online forum or chat room. This is perhaps a less intimidating way to get help. You might simply scour the web for resources, or you can post what you’re going through and seek advice.

-A helpline dedicated to eating disorders. There are toll-free numbers you can call if you feel you’re in a particular bad spot and need some assistance. Remember, you are not alone in this. There are people who care about you and want to help you recover.

The first person you should reach out to is a trusted friend or family member. Having someone that you are consistently around, and who is responsible, is extremely important. This person can help you seek out treatment and keep an eye on you. Now, if you do not have someone close to you that you feel you can reach out to your next step is to contact your doctor, therapist, or even the eating disorder helpline to set you up with a treatment plan.

While, opening up about all of your feelings may seem scary it is one of the most important steps towards recovery. To open up just start by explaining what you have been doing and how it has been affecting you. This will help give the person you are talking to an idea of what you will need to do next. You may feel guilt or embarrassment when talking about your eating disorder, but it is important to know that your loved ones are there to help you heal not judge you.

After reaching out to a professional you will most likely be recommended a treatment plan that includes therapy, nutritional education, medication, and potentially hospitalization. This will all depend on what eating disorder you are diagnosed with and the severity. You are the most important person in your treatment plan, as your actions affect your progress. Allowing others to help you can seem scary, but you have to remember you are in control of your body and how your treatment progresses.

Take your treatment seriously and lean on those around you for support. You can’t do it alone and shouldn’t have to. By being patient and utilizing the tools you are given, you will become healthy and improve your overall quality of life.


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