Many people with eating disorders view relapses as an opportunity to learn from the experience and to improve their skills so they can cope with the relapse next time.
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While many people with eating disorders will encounter a relapse or recurrence as they recover, those who display certain risk factors may be more likely to relapse during the process of recovery. The amount of time the person has been living with the eating disorder; the longer the duration of the illness, the higher the chances of relapse. The age of the person at the onset of their eating disorder; the older the person is at the time of onset, the more likely they are to relapse.
Whether the person carries out excessive exercise, even after recovery is complete.
Whether an increased focus or recurring concern with body shape and weight is present, even after recovery. In addition to the above risk factors, there is also evidence that relates to people suffering from anorexia nervosa. The following risk factors have been associated with relapse for a person with anorexia nervosa: Lower desired weight when a person wishes to be a lower weight even after recovery, there is an increased chance of relapse.
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Consuming an overall diet of lower energy density or a limited variety of foods. Remember that relapse is common. Sometimes an upsetting or traumatic experience can be a trigger.
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Some people are more likely to relapse at certain times of the year, for example during holidays or exams. To identify your triggers, think of times when you were tempted to act on eating disorder urges.
Maintaining Recovery from Eating Disorders: Avoiding Relapse and Recovering Life
Try to figure out what contributed to these urges. Make a personal coping plan Make a list of different triggers that could cause you to act on eating disorder urges. Then, come up with a plan for dealing with each of these triggers in a healthier way.
Your coping plan might include calling a friend, taking a walk, or writing in a journal. Eat snacks and meals regularly A meal and snack schedule can prevent you from going back to disordered eating or unhelpful eating behaviours. Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time, and stick to your plan! Eat three meals a day, plus snacks, at regular times about every 3 hours. A consistent schedule will be good for both your emotional and physical health.
Your family may be able to help by eating meals together with you as often as possible. Keep busy and stay involved Get involved in a hobby or activity that you enjoy.
If you make time to do the things you enjoy, or to do nice things for others, your focus will shift away from your eating disorder. It can also help to keep you motivated to recover and to stay connected to your surroundings and the people in your community.
» Relapse Prevention
Make time for yourself It is important to take time to do something good for yourself every day. Some people find it helpful to use this time to relax or reflect. Some do yoga or meditation. Others draw, paint, write, or listen to music. No matter what you choose, remind yourself that you are important. You deserve to take this time to do something that is just for you!
National Eating Disorders Association
Signs of Relapse It is important to remember that recovery is possible, even for those who have struggled with eating disorder symptoms for a long time. If we know some of the signs of relapse, we may recognize when someone is returning to eating disorder patterns. Then, there is a chance to prevent a slip from turning into a relapse. If you notice some of these signs in yourself or a loved one, and are worried that a relapse may happen, it is important to get help right away.
The support of a mental health professional can be very important in preventing relapse. This is especially true during the early stages of recovery, which can be both frightening and overwhelming. It looks like you're using an old version of Internet Explorer.