ED Relapse

Let’s talk relapse:

What is a relapse in terms of eating disorder recovery?
Relapse is when an individual resorts back to disordered habits, obsessive thoughts, or negative feelings about their body, weight, food, etc.
Everyone’s ED recovery is specific to themselves so relapse can also look different for every individual, but the definition above is a short summary of what it can look like.

Is relapse normal?
Relapse is normal. Many individuals that seek out recovery may relapse once or even multiple times. The severity and length of a relapse can also vary, and again, is different for everyone.

Does that mean that I have to relapse for my ED to be valid?
The short answer is no. Of course not. Not going back to behaviors doesn’t make your ED or recovery journey any less valid. It doesn’t mean that you failed, and relapsing doesn’t mean that you haven’t succeeded. Everyone’s road to recovery will look different, and if relapse isn’t a part of yours that’s also perfectly normal.

What do I do if I think I’ve relapsed?
Ask for guidance. I can’t stress that enough. Navigating relapse on your own can be hard, and although reaching out may seem more difficult, it’ll ease your load in the long run. Be honest with your support system, whether that’s your parents, a friend, therapist, dietician, psychiatrist, etc. These people are here to support you for a reason, so put any fear or anxiety to the side and put yourself and your recovery first!