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Five Things Not To Do While In Eating Disorder Treatment

Eating disorders can be scary and dangerous.  There is lots of advice out there about what you should be doing if you have an eating disorder, but this list is different.  This is a list of things you shouldn’t be doing.  There are lots of things that you should and should not be doing for eating disorder treatment.  The items on this list are things that can stop you from getting the help that you really need to receive and start the real healing that you need to be doing.

Here are five things to stop doing while you or a loved one is in eating disorder treatment:

1.  Stop Blaming

Stop blaming yourself.  Stop blaming your family.  Stop blaming entirely.  Self-criticism goes along with many of the other symptoms of eating disorders.  Blaming is not going to help you motivate yourself to start healing or motivate your friends and family to help you with healing.  Being overly critical can increase the shame and negative emotions that you are already experiencing.  Blaming makes a difficult situation worse.  Eating disorders have such complex causes that it is impossible to say that your friends and family are to blame.  Even if your family is not supportive or causes you stress, there is no point in place the blame there.  You are better off thinking positive thoughts and avoiding criticism altogether.

2.  Stop Thinking that You Can Recover On Your Own

People who suffer from an eating disorder are also have shame and guilt surrounding their disease. They are very used to hiding and keeping everything to themselves.  If you suffer from an eating disorder, it can be very difficult to ask for help, but it is probably one of the best things that you can do for yourself.  There is no amount of will power or independent work that can take the place of going through formal treatment with a trained professional treatment team.  In formal treatment, you will be able to get individual and group therapy, nutritional therapy, life skills training, and healthy exercise advice.

3.  Stop Letting Your Impatience Get the Better of You

Even once you start getting formal treatment, recovery is going to be a long road.  It is not going to be easy.  Many people struggle.  Some slip back into their eating disorder before becoming fully recovered.  True recovery is a long process.  But you must stay focused and you must stay committed.  If you are not making the progress you expected to be making, talk to your therapist or your team of treatment experts.  They may be able to offer you some insight or some perspective on how your treatment looks to them.

4.  Stop Thinking that You Don’t Deserve Treatment

Eating disorders are some serious stuff.  They can lead to a variety of different kinds of illnesses and conditions including muscle loss and weakness, hair loss, severe dehydration, high or low blood pressure, esophageal rupture, tooth decay, lanugo (a downy layer of hair that grows all over the body in an effort to capture heat and keep the organs warm), osteoporosis, peptic ulcers, or heart disease.  You and your health are worth all the time, money, and effort that are being put into it.  Think positive thoughts.  You are worth this.  You do deserve a happy and healthy life.

5.  Stop Forgetting What Your Therapist Tells You

Your therapist or your groups of treatment experts want what is best for you.  They want you to heal and have a healthy life.  Listen to what they tell you to do and then do it.  They want what is best for you and they know what is best for you.  You should always bring up anything that makes you uncomfortable, but they may still ask you to step outside of your comfort zone.  Your groups may want to make changes to your medications, to your meal planning training and effort, to your exercise regime, or possibly even to your team of doctors, but they are always going to look out for your best interest.