Coping with Anorexia

Anorexia

Anorexia is a serious and sometimes life-threatening disease. The habit of starving the body is often linked to psychological and physical causes related to a distorted view of body image and nutrition.

In Australia it is estimated that 1 million, or 4 % of the population is struggling with an eating disorder at any given time

If you fall into this category, the good news is there is help out there. There are a range of tools and strategies to assist you in your journey to recovery. If you also are looking for some help in coping with your condition, then keep reading.

Work with professionals

Consulting with your doctor and talking with a therapist will help you significantly with coping. There are some serious health effects from prolonged anorexia and a doctor can help to provide you with the best treatment to get better. You are not alone with this condition and the mental burden you carry needs to be unloaded. A therapist may use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help you start to reshape your personal views surrounding your relationship with food and body image.

Write about your feelings

An important part of the recovery process is being aware of your experiences and documenting your thoughts and feelings can help. You should do this regularly to help keep you aware of your condition. Especially on days where you had significant issues with food, recording what you did and how you were feeling during that day can benefit you. This coping strategy can prove therapeutic as you can get some of the ‘noise’ out of your head, and reflect on what took place on good and bad days. These journal entries can be useful during sessions with your therapist as well. 

Understand your triggers

Many people struggling with anorexia have specific triggers which can upset them and heighten their eating disorder. These may be certain foods, stressful aspects of your job, certain people or even events. By identifying your personal triggers you can take the control back by being proactive instead of reactive. Understanding what upsets you, will also help you take actionable steps to help deal with these issues before they escalate.

Join a support group

Your family and friends can be much needed support systems to help you cope with this disease. However, if possible, consider joining a support group with others dealing with anorexia too. Supporting others in a similar position as you can be extremely beneficial to your recovery. You can feel seen and heard by people who know what you’re going through. It can be healing for you to discuss your feelings and struggles openly in a safe space.

Set achievable goals

Using small and achievable goals each day can be another effective tool in coping with your condition. Making the goals realistic so that you can still achieve other things in your day is important. You want to feel successful and that you have made progress, so keeping it small to start is key. For example if you have only been eating one small meal at night, you could set a goal to add in a small snack each day. Each week you could try and increase the snack intake, then eventually add in more meals.

Living with anorexia is not easy and there will be good and bad days. Coping with this disease can be very overwhelming and challenging for the sufferer. The desire to get help and recover is an important first step. Working with health professionals, as well as taking some key steps on your own can be very useful in coping with this disease.

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