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Overcoming Anorexia Nervosa - A Guide to Recovery

written by: Melinda F. • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 7/29/2010

Overcoming anorexia nervosa is challenging but it can be done. With the proper guidance and a personalized treatment plan, sufferers of eating disorders can recover and go on to live healthy, happy lives. Here we will outline some anorexia nervosa steps to recovery.

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    Recognize You Have a Problem

    According to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health 1 in 200 women in America suffer from anorexia, and 95% of those are between the ages of 12 and 25.

    One of the most important anorexia nervosa steps to recovery is recognizing that you have a problem. If you are in denial and you just don’t realize that you have a problem treatment will likely not work for you.

    Nobody can force you to get treatment, and if somebody does, the chances of it succeeding are minimal unless you’re ready to face all of the issues that are currently plaguing you. Once you recognize that you have a problem you have already taken the first step, which is also the most important one.

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    A Therapeutic Treatment Plan Will Increase Your Chances of Success

    With the help of an experienced therapist you can devise a treatment plan that is customized to suit your personal needs. We aren’t all the same so naturally we won’t all react in the same way to one treatment plan. Professionals are very aware of this and will speak with you, get to know you and come up with something that is likely to work best in your personal situation.

    Anorexia is more than just having a need to be skinny and it’s not all physical, as it is a mental health issue as well. Those who are suffering need to completely change their way of thinking and learn how to have positive self-esteem and be happy in their own skin. A therapist will almost always use a cognitive-behavioral therapy approach as part of your treatment plan. This will help you deal with the issues you are facing and you can talk to them about the emotions you’re feeling.

    If you need help finding a therapist your clinical doctor can recommend one for you. If you aren’t comfortable with a particular therapist, keep searching until you find one that you can trust and speak with comfortably.

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    How to Approach Nutrition and Start Eating Healthily

    Eating a healthy, balanced diet is the hardest challenge for anorexics because their very fear is gaining weight, so eating the recommended caloric intake for their body type is going to be much more than they’re used to eating. This will cause sufferers to feel like they’re going to get fat, but that actually that couldn’t be further from the truth.

    If you want to have the best chance of anorexia nervosa recovery you should work with a certified nutritionist. They will understand what your needs are and help you to develop a healthy diet plan that will get you on the road to recovery. They will educate you on which foods you should be eating and they will create personalized meal plans for you to follow.

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    There is Always Hope, Don't Ever Give Up

    If you are having trouble with any of the anorexia nervosa steps to recovery know that you are not alone. Millions of people are struggling with the very same disorder. To increase your chances of having a successful recovery surround yourself with people who are supportive and that you also trust. And seek the help of professionals including your clinical doctor, a therapist and a certified nutritionist. These professionals know the appropriate steps to recovery that is specific to anorexics and can work together to help you get better and live a healthier, happier life.

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    References

    State.SC.US: Eating Disorder Statistics http://www.state.sc.us/dmh/anorexia/statistics.htm

    HelpGuide.org: Anorexia Nervosa: Signs, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment http://helpguide.org/mental/anorexia_signs_symptoms_causes_treatment.htm