[7 Things You Can Do if You Think You Have an Eating Disorder]

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tamas pap XO5qTnr0a50 unsplash

Recovering from an eating disorder is one of the most complex and challenging things a person can do. Constantly battling your inner critic, feeling alone, and ashamed that you’re even going through this is difficult in and of itself, so why would you make it even harder by admitting it? 

The truth is, the first thing you should do if you think you have an eating disorder is to admit it to yourself. Once you’ve overcome that massive hurdle, make sure to do these seven things.

1. Reach out for help 

If you’ve come to the point of admitting your struggles to yourself, it’s easy to think that you have everything under control. Who else needs to know, right? -Wrong.

Don’t insist that you can recover on your own. Sure, maybe you’re not as far gone as you could be, but that’s no reason to stifle your own progress towards a healthy and happy life! 

Whether you speak to a professional or simply reach out to a friend, you’ll be surprised to find out just how liberating asking for help can be. 

2. Don’t blame yourself

When it comes to recovering from anything, the way you talk to yourself about yourself means everything. It’s so easy to place blame on yourself for your own actions and habits. Afterall, you are the one to blame, but that doesn’t mean you should be blamed. 

Blame is like gaslighting. You tell yourself it’s your fault, which leaves no room for compassion and forward progress. 

Instead, do your best to understand yourself. Try to understand why anyone would be in the position you find yourself in. If you have to, imagine that your closest friend is going through what you’re experiencing. How do you think they feel? What emotions do you think caused them to act in that way? Would you want them blaming themselves, or loving themselves unconditionally? 

3. Address health issues

Your well-being is of the utmost importance and eating disorders can cause serious health problems. So whether you fast, binge, or purge, you need to be evaluated by a health professional to determine the best course of action in improving your physical health. 

There are numerous options for recovery from individual weekly therapy to nutritional counseling. Making sure your bodily health is taken care of is essential to fully recovering from an eating disorder. No matter what, your health comes first, so take what your doctor says seriously.  

4. Do things to build your self-esteem

Oftentimes eating disorders can arise from a lack of confidence or a negative self-image. It’s easy to feel self-conscious in a world where physical perfection is the popular standard. Your feelings are valid!

What you need to do is practice building your self-esteem. Identify and challenge your negative self-talk. Are you really that undesirable or is your inner critic exaggerating? Reinforce your challenge with positive self-talk. Tell yourself why exactly you are desirable. 

Spend more time doing difficult things. The more challenging things you complete, the more confident you are! So the next time those negative thoughts enter your mind, you’ve got even more positive ammunition to use against them. 

5. Practice meditation and journaling

Eating disorders begin in the mind, and if you’re not taking care of your mind, you can’t honestly expect to make a full recovery. The best way to balance the mind is through meditation. Meditation gives you the opportunity to let go of all of those thoughts that constantly crowd your headspace. 

When meditating, the goal is to detach ourselves from thoughts in order to become the observer. So instead of actively participating in thoughts (no matter what the thought is) as they run through your head, you can sit back and just watch them pass you by -totally free from whatever emotional baggage they might carry. 

Journaling will give you an opportunity to put any and all thoughts you might have down on paper, where you can see them, challenge them, and better understand them. Understanding yourself is essential to recovering from an eating disorder, so make sure you give yourself a fighting chance.

6. Face anxiety head-on

It’s easy to want to avoid any potentially triggering environments when you’re recovering, but it’s important that you don’t. You can’t expect the world to make adjustments for the sake of your emotional state -it simply won’t. 

The best thing you can do is to face your anxiety head on. You can start by using conventional or alternative anxiety medication, and then tapering off as time goes, or just jump in head on -as long as you have support. To learn more about some alternative methods of treating anxiety, check out this article on Veriheal. 

7. Don’t be impatient with recovery

Recovery takes time. You might not realize it right away, but it can take months -even years- to recover from an eating disorder, so be patient with yourself and trust the process. There will always be good and bad days. The trick is staying the course regardless! 


If you think you might have an eating disorder, reaching out for help is the most important step. Once you’re on the road to recovery, follow these tips and you’ll be feeling happy and healthy in no time! 



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