Finding a Mentor During College While in Eating Disorder Recovery

GWoman spending time with her friends

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

The college years can be both incredibly enriching and challenging, molding an individual into the person they become with experiences of a lifetime. Many college students become more autonomous during their time in school, learning greater independence in many aspects of their lives, including emotionally, financially, socially and more.

The experiences and opportunities in college often help a person better identify individual goals for themselves, as well as give better understanding about who they are.

For many college students, the many transitions experienced in school can be overwhelming. This can be an especially challenging time for a student who may be in recovery from an eating disorder. Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses that impact a person in a multitude of ways, and professional help is almost always needed for intervention and treatment.

Eating Disorder Recovery Should Remain a Priority in College

Depending on the extent and acuity of an eating disorder, a student may be able to continue with their normal college routine. In more severe cases, a college student often needs to take time off of school in order to focus on recovery and treatment. However, if a student has previously been in treatment or is appropriate for outpatient care, they can likely continue with their college schedule while continuing their recovery efforts.

Connecting with a Mentor is Helpful while in Recovery

Students on lecturerEating disorder recovery is something that should be kept a priority. The college experience in itself can create many distractions, and even though positive things are being experienced, a student can easily lose sight over what is needed to stay in recovery. Connecting with a mentor can be a practical and helpful way for having accountability throughout the college years.

A mentor can be anyone who has had significant experience in eating disorder recovery and is able to appropriately guide/teach through the process. This might include a teacher/professor, counselor/therapist, pastor, trusted friend, residential assistant/director, campus leader, and more.

If you are a college student in recovery, consider connecting with a mentor throughout your time in school for maintaining accountability and encouragement in your journey. Seek out someone who you feel you could connect with and stay accountable to in your recovery from an eating disorder.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

If you have been in recovery from an eating disorder, did you have a mentor through the process? If so, how did this support your efforts?

Crystal Headshot 2Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on January 17, 2016
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About Baxter Ekern

Baxter is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He is responsible for the operations of Eating Disorder Hope and ensuring that the website is functioning smoothly.