13 Ways to Overcome an Eating Disorder

First off, right off the top, it needs to be stated that this article is no substitute for medical assistance and support, and neither is it intended to be a self-diagnostic tool. Eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder), body dysmorphia, and hypergymnasia (when one exercises excessively) are all cases where working with a professional is absolutely critical to safe and healthy recovery.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, there are 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States who will suffer from a clinically diagnosable eating disorder in their lifetime. On top of those 30 million, there are also people who suffer from an EDNOS, (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) who have a disordered relationship with food, but don’t meet the criteria the Diagnostic Statistical Manual says constitutes a recognized eating disorder. And unfortunately, the incidence of new cases of eating disorders being diagnosed has been on the rise since 1950.

The purpose of this article is to outline self-care tips and resources you can use if you think you may be suffering from symptoms of disordered eating.

1. Admit to yourself something is wrong

For anyone to make real, long-lasting change, they must admit there is something wrong and possess the authentic desire to make a change. It is critically important to couple this desire with proper medical care when coping with an eating disorder, as there are usually underlying psychological issues present as well.

SpeedKingz / Shutterstock.com
SpeedKingz / Shutterstock.com

2. Clarify your situation with online assessments

If you are not entirely sure if you are suffering from an eating disorder or EDNOS, there are many online assessment tools to consider. Again, these are not designed to replace a professional evaluation, nor do they provide an official diagnosis, but can offer insight and clarity for you moving forward. A quick web search for eating disorder assessment tools will turn up a variety of resources you can use to assess your symptoms.

SpeedKingz / Shutterstock.com
SpeedKingz / Shutterstock.com

3. Tell someone

Sharing with someone that you are suffering from disordered eating can be incredibly challenging, frightening and inevitably quite daunting, especially if you have carried this secret for a long period of time.

You might want to tell a friend or family member, or someone else with whom you have a strong relationship and that you trust to offer a safe space when confiding in them. If you’re not sure how to approach the situation, look for resources that provide scripts and tips for having this difficult but potentially transformative conversation.

Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.com
Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.com
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