Deciding when to seek treatment is probably the hardest step in the recovery process. It requires you to realize that you need help and that you can’t beat your eating disorder alone. Seeking professional assistance is necessary because of the life-threatening status of eating disorders. When your eating disorder is in control, you lose the ability to think rationally and to see the damaging effects it has on your physical and mental health. A therapist can help you look at the situation logically and learn coping skills to deal with stress or poor self-esteem associated with your disorder.
The lack of seriousness taken by many patients regarding the medical sequeale of Anorexia and Bulimia, contributes to the inability to choose the best protocol for care and therefore increases the likelihood of treatment failure. — Judy Scheel Ph.D., L.C.S.W., CEDS
When deciding if therapy is the right option for you, it is important to ask yourself these questions:
Is It Causing You Harm?
Eating disorders isolate you from your loved ones and cause you to doubt your own views and beliefs. Your insecurity and poor self-image is in control of your actions and behaviors.
Harm doesn’t necessarily mean physical symptoms, though these are also a cause for concern. Harm can refer to emotional and social harm. One example of this is that your mental state can be altered by low self-esteem and negative self-talk, both of which can lead to a damaging body image.
Bulimia nervosa will also manifest physically. This can be through harmful weight loss or acid reflux disorder. These disorders can cause pain to the individual.
Anyone who is has an eating disorder is very invested in maintaining the thoughts and behaviors that fuel it, so when a loved one expresses concern they may be met with anger or defensiveness. — Lisa Ferentz LCSW-C, DAPA
Is It Affecting The People Around You?
Your eating disorder will affect you and everyone around you. It will put a strain on your relationships. When someone’s friend or family member is hurting themselves and not seeking to change, it’s stressful for the individual. It’s unbelievably hard to watch someone you love damage himself in permanent ways because he won’t admit he has a problem.
Your eating disorder will make you to act out and become isolated from the people around you. This is because your disorder is in control of your decisions, not you. You will find yourself making excuses and avoiding interaction because you’re too afraid of getting caught. You dread to face the consequences.
If you notice that you are pulling away from your friends and family, it’s time to seek treatment and professional help. The situation gets much more dangerous when you lack a support system to encourage you and provide strength when things get really hard.
Is It Preventing You From Living A Normal Life?
Your eating disorder can potentially prevent you from experiencing a normal life. You will become so focused on what food you are consuming and the act of purging that you will neglect your daily tasks and the jobs that need to be completed.
The truth is: weight is a lousy indication of health. — Alexis Conason Psy.D.
Bulimia is a very secretive disorder, as mentioned earlier. You will hide your behavior around food and it will cause you to isolate yourself from the society. Professional help is needed to go on living a normal life while battling your disorder. You need to be equipped of the tools to cope with your poor self-image and low confidence levels.
If you find yourself unable to attend school or work, you are in a dangerous territory because you/re losing control. Once you neglect the activities you love, you have reached life-threatening waters and should seek help immediately. It’s important to reach out for treatment, even if you’re scared of people finding out about you. Your mental health is the most important thing and should be your priority.