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Eating Disorder Relapse

Article Contributed by Debra Cooper, BS, Staff of Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center

In our society, we rely on expressions such as “Rome wasn’t build in a day,” to serve as reminders of the truth. Obviously this city wasn’t built in a day or even a year- it took a significant amount of time. The truth is…most things of great value or import do take time and effort. Building tools and maintaining recovery from an eating disorder is no different. An occasional slip back into the behavior or total relapse can occur.

But here’s another handy phrase: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In eating disorder recovery, relapse prevention is critical. This comes in many forms, such as identifying triggers. A trigger is something in the environment, an individual, a thought, or a situation that prompts a person to return to an eating disorder behavior. By preparing a response in advance, the recovering person will know what to do when faced with a dangerous trigger.

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  • Always keep in mind that recovery from anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and compulsive overeating is extremely difficult. Even the most committed person can experience periods of relapse. Don’t panic, and especially, don’t give up. There is no shame in simply being human.

    Remember… Recovery does not happen overnight. If relapse occurs, take a moment to regroup, then return to your recovery plan. Never lose sight of how very far you have come.

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    Last reviewed: By Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on June 4, 2012
    Article Contributed by our Sponsor ~ Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center
    Page last updated June 12, 2012

    Published on, Online Anorexia, Bulimia Resources

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    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    Marge April 9, 2015 at 1:22 am

    correct. don’t be discouraged if you relapse. it happens even to those who strong willed. just don’t give up. continue with your recovery plans and you will surely succeed. good luck dear reader.

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