August 12, 2014 Courtney M

Recognize Signs of an Eating Disorder Relapse

When a person is living with an eating disorder, the effects of the disorder can be felt by everyone in his or her life. It can be extremely difficult to break old habits that lead to developing an eating disorder, which is why it is critical for patients seeking treatment to understand how to recognize the signs of a relapse. By doing so, a person can avoid relapsing and, instead, continue to make strides toward full recovery.

Signs of a Relapse

Patients are at the highest risk of experiencing a relapse between six and 17 months after they are discharged from a treatment center, but many do not know what brings on a relapse. Warning signs to watch for include:

  • Feeling hopeless or stressed about your recovery
  • Isolating yourself from family and friends
  • Obsessing about your appearance or thinking constantly about food
  • Hiding information from your treatment professional

Preventing a Relapse

If you notice any of these symptoms, the first thing to do is seek help from your doctor. Even if you feel like you just need someone to speak with about your recovery, talking to a professional is an important first step. This way you will be able to develop the skills you need to confront your disorder head-on and prevent a relapse from occurring.

Be open with your family and friends about your recovery because involving others helps add accountability and shows you how much support you have on your side. Getting treatment, developing a relapse prevention plan, and understanding how your feelings affect your health are all vital steps in your recovery.