You’ve found the best eating disorder treatment center, packed your suitcase to point where you are still shocked you got it to close, and now you are off – off to spend the next couple of weeks or months literally fighting for your life.
Currently the relapse rate for anorexic patients ranges from 9% to 65%, with the highest rate of relapse occurring during the first four to twelve months after treatment. For bulimia sufferers, the numbers are just as frightening. Within six months of receiving treatment, 30% to 50% of bulimics will relapse. Now we all know that relapses occur for many different reasons, but I would argue that one reason a person falls back into their disease is that they didn’t taken advantage of everything their treatment center had to offer. So in this post, I am going to tell you the three things I wish I had been told on how you can get the most out of eating disorder treatment.
1. Remission Never Occurs through Osmosis
If you want to get into remission, you must take some accountability and play an active role in your treatment. Would you expect to get rid of an ear infection by just standing by a bottle of antibiotics? NOPE! Then please tell me why you would expect to get your eating disorder into remission by just passively sitting through groups, hiding things from your treatment team, and not completing CBT and DBT homework? You have a disease that can and will kill you if you don’t step up. Now is the time to harness every ounce of strength and courage you have and fight for your life.
2. Sickness is NOT a Competition
The one thing I remember the most about my stints in residential and inpatient was the constant competition between the patients to be the sickest. If one person said they didn’t eat for two days straight, another patient would chime in and proclaim that they didn’t eat for three. When you go to eating disorder treatment, never enter this toxic tournament. You are in treatment to get well and regain all that your eating disorder has stolen from you, not to brag about your life-threatening fasts and the amount of time you spent nearly killing yourself on the treadmill.
3. Don’t Play a Role in the Soap Opera
When you’re a patient at a treatment facility, you are living in close quarters for quite a bit of time with a bunch of other pretty sick people. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand that this is the perfect recipe for drama so intense that it would make even the Kardashians look relatively normal. It is incredibly easy to be consumed by it, but remember, every single moment you spend playing a role in treatment center drama, is a moment you lost working towards getting well. Don’t let drama derail your path to remission! Focus on yourself and yourself only!