Eating disorders are serious and if you have any concerns regarding your health you need to take positive action and get help. Getting sick was not your choice, and it is not your fault that you are ill, but you do need to understand that not only do you deserve proper treatment, but it is important that you ask for help.
I was so ashamed of my eating disorder that for a long time I refused to ask for help, and as a result anorexia affected every single aspect of my life. My health deteriorated, my social life fell apart and my body suffered immensely. My schoolwork and grades went downhill as my malnourished brain struggled to find the fuel that it needed in order to function and think properly. Worst of all, I caused my family a huge amount of stress and suffering as they were so concerned about me. Getting better is not just something that will help you, it is something that will help your family and those that love you also.
You may feel confused about conflicting thoughts and feelings that you are having, you may feel ashamed or embarrassed, but you are not alone and there are people that can help you understand what is happening and help you recover much faster than you can on your own.
No illness is something to be ashamed of and the recovery process for an eating disorder is difficult due to the multifaceted nature of the disorder. You will have a much greater chance of success if you work with others that are experienced in what you are going through.
Due to the way that an eating disorder affects both your mind and your body, you will need a variety of resources to overcome it. Some people need medication initially in order to help them feel less stress about eating or to help them overcome depression or other illnesses that often accompany eating disorders. There are methods of family based therapy that work very well if you would like your loved ones to be involved in helping you. There is individual counseling so that you can concentrate on yourself and group therapy to help you understand the experiences of other people that might be similar to you. Nutritional therapy will help you understand what your body needs in order to get better.
Some people with eating disorders suffer from other disorders at the same time, like depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, or alcoholism. In those cases, treatment for co-existing conditions should be provided along with eating disorder help. Inpatient treatment may be needed initially to provide intensive medical and psychiatric treatment.
Eating disorders can be very distorting. You might feel like you do not want to recover and that you are fine without help. The reality is that if your nutritional intake is disrupted it will affect all areas of your mind and body. Withholding from finding treatment could mean that you suffer a multitude of health problems in the future. Getting help is investing in your long-term health and happiness and will be the best decision that you ever made!
Recovery is a long road. Remember, you do not have to travel that road alone. It really is important to reach out for help. There is no shame in having an eating disorder and help is available. You do not have to be a prisoner to your eating disorder forever. Not only is it okay to ask for help, it is necessary. On the top left are some sections that I hope will be of help to you or to a loved one as you begin getting the help needed to assist you in your recovery.
Written by Tabitha Farrar, 2014