Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Director of Content and Social Media at Eating Disorder Hope
The Nature of Eating Disorders
Because eating disorders develop from a number of complex factors, there is much debate about whether someone can be fully recovered or not from these psychiatric illnesses.
Many of the influencing components of eating disorders include biological underpinnings, which also make it difficult to understand if someone can be “cured” of an eating disorder. It is certainly achievable to be in remission from eating disorder behaviors, meaning that symptoms have become less intense and severe, but because of the nature of the disease, there remains the possibility of relapsing into eating disorder behaviors.
Achieving Long-Term Recovery For Binge Eating Disorder
Staying proactive in recovery efforts can make recovery successful and possible for the long-term. Individuals recovering from binge eating disorder in particular, may find themselves challenged in ways that are unique to the disorder, and will therefore require effective strategies for coping with potential triggers.
Here are five suggestions for sustaining recovery from binge eating disorder for the long-term:
- Develop a core support team: After being in recovery for a certain length of time, it is easy to become complacent and forego many of the things that were helpful in the initial phases of recovery. Having a support system that you are regularly accountable to can help support your recovery efforts by keeping you connected to the people who understand your past struggles and future goals.
- Understand your triggers: Knowing the things that may incline you to relapse into eating disorder behaviors is essential for long term recovery. Whether transitional periods or certain emotions, like grief, anger, etc., it is important to have a mental checklist in mind and be aware of these times of situations ahead of time.
- Have professionals on hand: Having a support team of professionals available when you need them is important for long term recovery. If you find yourself struggling with food again or need therapeutic interventions, you should have access to professionals like a registered dietitian or therapist when you need them.
- Stick with long-term recommendations: If your psychiatrist has recommended medication management as part of your long term recovery, or if you doctor has prescribed certain recommendations as part of your recovery efforts, it is important to follow professional advice. You may think that you no longer need to take a medication after a period of remission, but it is important to follow physician recommendations closely.
- Have a Realistic Perspective: Understand that recovery is about progress, not perfection. Lapses in your recovery journey do not mean failure but are part of the journey. Having a realistic perspective about the recovery process can help you better cope with any obstacles along the way.
Community Discussion – Share Your Thoughts Here!
What would you add to this list of recommendations for long term recovery?
About the Author: Crystal 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 September 28, 2016
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com