The National Eating Disorders Association
The National Eating Disorders Association is a non-profit
organization that supports individuals and families affected by eating
disorders. They work to spread awareness about the illness through education and
teach prevention strategies to parents of at-risk children and adolescents. The
organization campaigns for better access to quality mental health treatment for
people with eating disorders. Their established hotline can serve as a resource
for families trying to encourage a loved one to enter treatment. It can also be
helpful to patients who are currently undergoing treatment and need assistance.
Call them at
1-800-931-2237 or visit their website at http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.
The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
ANAD was established as a resource for patients and family members
seeking help with an eating disorder. The ANAD can help people with an eating
disorder connect to support groups, find outpatient treatment centers, and
assist in finding a psychiatrist, therapist, and dietitian. They may be helpful
if you need to find and vet inpatient or residential treatment facilities. Call them at (847) 831-3438, or visit
their website at http://www.anad.org.
Academy for Eating Disorders
The work of the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) focuses on
research. Their goal is to find and implement the latest effective treatments
for people with eating disorders. They also provide an array of resources,
videos, and information to help families dealing with an eating disorder. The
AED can also help connect people with professionals who may be able to help
with treatment. Call
them at (847) 498-4274 or visit their website at http://www.aedweb.org.
What Self-Support Techniques Does Professional Treatment Teach?
Professional treatment can help you learn and
practice the following coping skills.
Acknowledge Your Weaknesses
A history of disordered eating behaviors can
leave a person unable to accurately judge whether or not they have a problem.
They may also not be able to determine if they are at a healthy weight.
Learning to trust your doctor or another support figure can help you understand
where you are with improving your physical health and reaching a healthier
Boost Your Self-Esteem
Invest yourself in activities that interest
you. These activities are often rewarding and fulfilling. These activities may
include becoming involved in a social group or charity organization. They may
also include learning a new skill or going back to something you once enjoyed.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Avoid things that may trigger negative
feelings about your body. Social and media portrayals of what’s considered
physically attractive may encourage disordered behaviors.
Stick to the Plan
Even if you’re not feeling hungry, resist the
urge to skip a meal. The same is true for a therapy session. Sticking to the
plan will help you avoid slipping back into unhealthy behaviors.
Don’t Surround Yourself with People That Encourage Unhealthy Behaviors
If your circle of friends doesn’t understand
the problems you face, or if they engage in similarly unhealthy behaviors, they
may not be the best source of support as you try to heal. The same is true for
websites or groups that advocate or glorify eating disorders, which can trigger
unhealthy behaviors and harm your recovery process.
Identify Troublesome Scenarios
During talks with your therapist, you can
identify situations that are more likely to spur unhealthy thoughts behaviors.
You can develop a plan of action if you find yourself in those situations.
Seek Out Positive Role Models
Many people who struggle with eating
disorders have been able to rise above the illness to live healthy, normal
lives. These are the people you should aspire to be, not people who represent
unhealthy images of what people “should” look like.