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How do You Help Yourself or Someone Else With an ED?

The road to eating disorder recovery starts with admitting you have a problem. This admission can be tough, especially if youíre still clinging to the beliefĖeven in the back of your mindĖthat weight loss is the key to happiness, confidence, and success. Even when you finally understand that thinness isnít the Holy Grail you thought it was, old habits are hard to break.

The good news is that the eating disorder behaviors youíve learned can be unlearned. That doesnít mean the process is smooth, quick, or easy, but you can do it if youíre motivated to change and willing to ask for help. However, eating disorder recovery is about more than giving up unhealthy eating behaviors. Overcoming an eating disorder is also about rediscovering who you are beyond your eating habits, weight, and body image.

The key to recovery is found in a person's willingness to break old habits and remain in an eating disorder treatment program long enough to restore healthy patterns of eating and resolve any underlying emotional issues.It can be scary and embarrassing to seek help for an eating disorder. But itís important to get treatment. Eating disorder recovery is much easier when you have experienced, caring health professionals in your corner.

Eating disorder treatment step #1: Find a specialist The first step in eating disorder treatment is finding a doctor or therapist who specializes in anorexia and bulimia. As you search, focus on finding the right fit. Your relationship with your doctor or therapist is important to the recovery process. Look for someone who makes you feel comfortable, accepted, and safe.

Eating disorder treatment step #2: Address health problems Anorexia and bulimia can be deadlyĖand not just if youíre drastically underweight. Your health may be in danger, even if you only occasionally fast, binge, or purge, so itís important to get a full medical evaluation. If the evaluation reveals health problems, they should take top treatment priority. Nothing is more important than your physical well-being. If youíre suffering from any other life-threatening problem, you may need to be hospitalized. While the thought of hospitalization may be scary, try to remember that itís sole purpose is to keep you safe!

Eating disorder treatment step #3: Make a long-term treatment plan Once your health problems are under control, you and your doctor or therapist can work on a long-term recovery plan. First, youíll need to assemble a complete eating disorder treatment team. Your team might include a family doctor, a psychologist, a nutritionist, a social worker, and a psychiatrist. Then you and your team will develop a treatment plan thatís individualized to meet your needs.

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