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The Dos and Don'ts of Eating Disorder Recovery

written by: ChelseaOliver • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 10/22/2010

Eating disorder recovery is a long and complicated process. Read on for a variety of dos and don'ts in order to discover what helps, and hinders this delicate progression.

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    Beginning the Eating Disorder Recovery Process - A Definite Do

    Eating disorder recovery is a complicated journey full of a myriad of ups and downs. Making the decision to enter treatment, whether with the help of medical professionals or otherwise, is often quite difficult; however, it is the first step towards gaining a new, healthy self awareness and an improved, refreshed outlook on life. Many options are available for those seeking help with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or other eating disorders, and it is important to establish which method will be most effective.

    These options include residential, or in-patient, programs at specifically geared eating disorder treatment centres or hospitals, day treatment, out-patient therapy, and specialized programs such as the Renfrew Center's Extended Care program, which helps individuals in recovery transition back into the outside world. Making the conscious decision to begin the healing process is an eating disorder recovery do.

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    Symptoms and Underlying Issues

    Eating disorder recovery is not accomplished overnight, and requires significant amounts of effort and patience from the sufferer and their loved ones. A recovery don't: never just treat the physical symptoms of an eating disorder, such as the emaciation of an individual with anorexia nervosa or the damaged esophagus of a person with bulimia nervosa.

    The external symptoms are a manifestation of the often deeply underlying psychological issues, and it is with the treatment and recovery from these issues that the physical symptoms will lessen and gradually diminish.

    Intensive therapy is frequently required to address the personal and psychological issues which are triggering the eating problems. An eating disorder recovery do: find a trustworthy therapist and establish a rapport with them. This can help significantly with another recovery do, making connections between emotional issues and the resulting destructive thoughts and behavior.

    Don't assume that several lengthy therapy sessions mean that recovery has been achieved; full recovery often takes years. However, another recovery don't is not to become discouraged. Progress takes time, and taking the steps towards recovery is in itself something to be proud of.

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    Open Up

    Another eating disorder recovery do is opening up to both oneself and one's therapist. Honesty contributes significantly in the recovery process, and will not only help improve the effectiveness of treatment but assist the sufferer in truly discovering the root of their disorder. Openness and honesty can lead to other recovery dos, such as learning and practicing communication, with oneself as well as with one's therapist and loved ones.

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    Take Your Time

    Do be sure not to rush the recovery process. Eating disorders are often deeply ingrained in one's thoughts and subsequent actions; pressuring oneself to become healed too quickly can hinder the process. Pacing oneself and developing new habits and a new sense of awareness of one's own schedule is an important fact to remember, and initiating recovery is the first step in the right direction.

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    References

    http://www.renfrewcenter.com/

    http://www.healthywithin.com/dos_and_dont%27s.htm

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