Realisation that help is needed
Recovery from an eating disorder begins with the recognition that the condition has taken control of your life, or is in the process of doing so, and with the realisation that you need help to enable you to start working towards recovery. This is the first step on the ladder of recovery.
How do I get help?
Make an appointment to see your GP. He/she should be your first point of contact with health services and will be able to help you with your problems. You may be referred to a Community Mental Health Team or specialist Eating Disorder Services for more help.
Do NOT keep your problems to yourself. Talk to someone you know and trust.
Contact StampED for more information on attending our group meetings 028 9441 3307.
- Stick to regular mealtimes – breakfast, lunch and dinner. If your weight is very low, have morning, afternoon and night time snacks.
- Try to think of one small step you could take towards a healthier way of eating. If you can’t face eating breakfast, try sitting at the table for a few minutes at breakfast time and just drinking a glass of water. When you have got used to doing this, have just a little to eat, even half a slice of toast – but do it every day.
- Keep a diary of what you eat, when you eat it and what your thoughts and feelings have been every day. You can use this to see if there are connections between how you feel, what you are thinking about, and how you eat.
- Try to be honest about what you are or are not eating, both with yourself and with other people.
- Remind yourself that you don’t always have to be achieving things – let yourself off the hook sometimes.
- Remind yourself that, if you lose more weight, you will feel more anxious and depressed.
- Make two lists – one of what your eating disorder has given you, one of what you have lost through it. A self-help book can help you with this.
- Try to be kind to your body, don’t punish it.
- Make sure you know what a reasonable weight is for you, and that you understand why.
- Read stories of other people’s experiences of recovery. You can find these in self-help books or on the internet.
- Avoid websites that encourage you to lose weight and stay at a very low body weight. They encourage you to damage your health, but won’t do anything to help when you fall ill.
- Don’t weigh yourself more than once a week.
- Don’t spend time checking your body and looking at yourself in the mirror. Nobody is perfect. The longer you look at yourself, the more likely you are to find something you don’t like. Constant checking can make the most attractive person unhappy with the way they look.
- Don’t cut yourself off from family and friends. You may want to because they think you are too thin, but they can be a lifeline.
(From Royal College of Psychiatrists)