How to Overcome Anorexia- Treatment Plans
Written by: Tanvi Vinay Gangavali MA – (Psychology)
Last updated date : February 28, 2023
When you have an eating disorder you feel that you will never be happy till you lose weight. You also feel that your worth is based on your looks. But the truth is you can be happy only by loving yourself for who you really are—and that’s only possible when you want to seek help. You can overcome anorexia by using psychotherapy treatment plans.
The first step is to accept you have a problem. The next step is to take efforts to change the behaviours that you have learnt. You also get to learn new ways to deal with your emotional pain and look at yourself beyond the eating disorder. Help is out there and also recovery is possible. With the right help and guidance, you can overcome anorexia.
Psychotherapy Treatment Plans
Once you decide to overcome anorexia, opening up about your issue is needed.
- Choose the right time and place. Your issue is important and needs to be heard. Hence, you need to choose a private undisurbed place.
- Starting the conversation. You can say “I want to share something important. It’s difficult for me to talk about this, so it would mean a lot if you’d be patient and hear me out.” Then, you can talk about how you feel about the issue and the impact.
- Be patient. Your friend or family member will have their own reaction. They may not know how to respond or help you. It is okay.
- Tell them how the person can best support you. You know best what support you need. So, tell it to them. for example, you might want them to come with you to the doctor.
How to Overcome Anorexia
It is important to find the best option that works best for you. The psychotherapy treatment plans should not only address your symptoms and eating habits but also look at the root cause.
Overcome Anorexia Step 1: Collect Your Treatment Team
An eating disorder is complex. Hence, you will need a team of experts who will address every aspect of your problem. You can also find experts who make you feel accepted, and safe. Tips to find experts:
- Ask your family doctor or friends for a referral.
- Look for resources on internet.
Overcome Anorexia Step 2: Pay Attention to Health Problems
An Eating disorder can put your health in danger. Hence, it is important to do a full-body check-up. If the reports tell you that you have a medical issue then you need to consult your doctor. You might also need medicines or hospital visits to keep you safe.
Overcome Anorexia Step 3: Create a Long-Term Treatment Plan
Once your health problems are under control, you and your treatment team can work on long-term psychotherapy treatment plans. This may include:
- Individual or group therapy. Therapy can help you look at the root cause. It also helps you build your self-esteem. Also, you learn healthy ways of managing stress amd emotional pain. Depending on your therapist, they might use Cognitive Behaviour or an Eclectic approach to work on your issues.
- Family therapy. This means working with your family members to understand how this issue affects your relationships. In this, the entire family or few members will work on helping and supporting you.
- Nutritional counselling. The goal here is to meet an expert who will help you create healthy eating habits. Your habits will not change overnight, but with regular practise you will be able to develop a healthier relationship with food.
- Medical monitoring. To keep your body vitals stable, medical intervention is needed. This is also to keep you safe. This includes regular blood tests, weigh-ins and other tests.
- Residential treatment. In some cases, to help you better this may be needed. It can be on outpatient or even inpatient basis. The goal is to make you stable with consistent monitoring.
Overcome Anorexia Step 4: Learn Self-Help Strategies
While seeking help, your own role is also important. The more motivated you are, the faster the recovery is. The following tips can help:
Overcome Anorexia: Self-Help Tip 1: Learn Healthier Coping Strategies.
You feel emotionally drained when dealing with eating issues. An eating disorder is a way to cope with your stress or unpleasant emotions. For example, if you are angry you may refuse food to feel that you are punishing yourself. The first step is knowing what’s really going on inside. You need to identify the emotion that you are feeling. Then, you can work towards choosing a positive alternative Here are a few ways to help you:
- Call a friend
- Listen to music
- Spend time with a pet
- Read a good book
- Go for a walk
- Write in a diary
- Help someone.
Tip 2: Create a Balanced Relationship with Food
When your goal is to overcome anorexia, it is needed that you deal with how you think about food. Even though the food itself is not the problem, making friends with it will help you. You also need to find a balance with food habits. Few tips to help you:
- Let go of strict eating rules. Strict rules about food and eating need to be stopped. But, you also need to replace it with healthy eating habits. For example, if you have a rule to not eat all desserts, change it and instead keep it as “I won’t eat dessert every day.” and It is okay if I eat a dessert once in a while.
- Avoid dieting. The more you stop eating food, the more you are likely to keep thinking about it. So, instead, focus on eating healthy food which will give you energy and make you strong. The rule is to eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel full.
- Follow a regular eating schedule. You are may be used to not eating meals for long durations. But when you starve yourself, you end up thinking about food only. Hence, try to eat every three hours. Don’t skip any meal!
- Know what your body wants to tell you. If you have an eating issue then you tend to ignore your body’s hunger and fullness signals. The goal is to get back in touch with these internal cues. This will also help you to eat to meet what your body needs and not based on your emotions.
Tip 3: Accept and Love Yourself as You Are
The easiest way to overcome anorexia is by loving yourself for who you are. Hence, you need to see yourself in a positive, balanced way:
- Make a list of your positive qualities. Think of all the things you like about yourself. Focus on negative qualities that you don’t have.
- Avoid body checking. Focus on accepting yourself as you are and stop paying attention to changes in your weight or body.
- Do not “fat talk.” It’s something many of us take part in without even noticing. Instead of telling others, “You look great because you are thin!” try to say something other, such as “You look really happy today!”
- Challenge negative self-talk. We all have negative thoughts about how we look. The important thing is not to base your self-worth on these thoughts. Instead, catch yourself when you are thinking in that way and challenge the negative thought. Ask what evidence you have to support the idea. Also, if there is any evidence against it. Just because you think about it, it is not true.
It is important to take steps to maintain your progress and prevent relapse.
- Create a strong support system.
- Know your “triggers.”
- Avoid searching the internet for websites for eating disorders.
- Follow psychotherapy treatment plans made for you.
- Do what you enjoy.
- It is okay if you do have a relapse. You can restart.