Take Control Of Your Eating Disorder

by Anonymous, 1625158027297

Prioritizing recovery from an eating disorder is more important now than ever before, although the process may be harder than in years past. With the uncertainty of the last few months, many individuals have turned to food for comfort. Whether it be restricting their calorie intake or having that extra piece of cake for emotional support; unhealthy eating habits have been seen more than before. [Eating disorders]( such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorders have increased tremendously during the pandemic. Reaching professional help may be harder at this point than ever before due to the unprecedented number of individuals that are currently seeking assistance. Virtual assistance is also still an option but has been a great challenge. The lack of proper interaction and increased hesitation in group sessions have made treatment become less effective. **Eating disorder factors to remember** Eating disorders and treatments that are most commonly used are only partially focused on the food itself. Often, therapists find that eating disorders are started over the feeling of control. Disordered eating is an act that is used to help gain the control that person desires within their life. This control can be missing from both internal and external factors of life. Genetics and other biological factors must also be considered when thinking about eating disorders. This plays a major factor in distorted thoughts that can easily drive people to engage in unhealthy eating habits including meal restriction, binge eating, and purging. The pandemic has caused a general increase in the feeling of vulnerability and true loss of control. The increase in isolation and loneliness that has been caused by the pandemic has made an impact in the world of mental health. Cases related to mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, alcohol/substance disorders, and PTSD have spiked within the last few months. Those with the previous difficulty related to eating disorders and those exposed to a great deal of isolation have more frequently turned to food for comfort than in the past. **Positive steps to take** - **Familial support**: Instead of isolating yourself during mealtime, enlist your family to prepare and eat. Provide them as much detail as you are comfortable with in order for them to understand the importance of group mealtime. Sit and enjoy the time with your family instead of strictly focusing on the food. - **Redirection**: Plan activities to keep you busy and distracted during your typically most difficult time. If your difficult time is after dinner, create a routine such as an extra-long bath, or start reading to get you into a safer mindset. - **Self-Care**: Plan out a sleep schedule that has you going to sleep at the same time every night and waking up the same time in the morning (resetting your Circadian Rhythm) Ideally aiming for 7-8 hours of good sleep. - **Set Up for Success**: Have a schedule of healthy snacks and meals saved as alarms on your phone to get you eating every few hours to reduce the risk of binging - **Reflection and Affirmations**: Write out a list of things you DO like about your body ( “my eyes always shine when I am excited or happy” “my strong arms that can rock my drumset look really great in that one shirt”) - **Positive Reinforcement**: Put sticky notes all over (especially by mirrors or on the fridge or your usual spots for disordered eating) that list things you are proud of about yourself unrelated to your body (“I am always willing to help others” “I am great at web design” “My garden looks amazing”) Ask your friends and family to contribute some of their own if you are comfortable with that. **Seeking out additional help** - National Eating Disorder website: offers virtual support groups, mentors and more information about eating disorders - Talk to a specialist: Because of the pandemic telehealth visits are still offered by therapists and there are many outpatient or inpatient treatment programs available that you can find online or learn about through a virtual support group from others who are battling the same things you may be but be farther along the healing process [![eating disorder recovery](](