The worst feature of an eating disorder, such as anorexia, is that it takes the mind hostage. The inner voices of anorexic patients constantly cast shadows of self-doubt. They tell them they’re worth is measured by their appearance, but the truth lies on the contrary.
During this time it is vital to maintain a sustained mental health defence so that the patient can recover from the effects of withering self-esteem. The journey towards recovery starts with the admission of a problem. It is true that the mind controls the body, and if patients are guided to take control of their thoughts, they can regain their happiness, confidence, and can let a medical treatment fight off their eating disorder.
Coping with an eating disorder is not as simple as giving up unhealthy eating habits. This is a precarious journey that demands behavioural support that sustains mental health and prevents the patient from relapsing. Help is always out there, and a person should be educated sensitively to reach out for it.
Here’s some tips for anorexic patients that can help them embrace their thoughts, and generate a mental defence against the onslaught of an eating disorder:
Rediscover your self-worth
Treatments can only be effective if a person believes in them. Our psyche determines whether we are ready to defeat a disease or not. Anorexic patients who are using a weight gainer to restore their physical health, must evaluate their self-worth beyond their body image.
It is essential to listen to your intrinsic feelings and body, and accepting yourself in all shapes and sizes. Self-love is vital to sustaining mental health, and joining support groups for this end can help a lot. This road to self-discovery shouldn’t be manoeuvred alone.
Reach out to other people
Isolation can amplify the negative effects of a an eating disorder. Human beings, intrinsically, are social animals, and getting enough social support and interaction is a fundamental need of our biology. Once you intend to make a change, it is good to open up about your problems with other people.
Choose someone that is a close friend, a teacher, a therapist, or a close family member so that they are supportive of you and don’t judge. There are no stringent rules when opening up to someone.
It is you who selects the time and place and starts a comfortable conversation. Getting rid of the mental burden can help with your mental well being and relax you.
Find a self-help strategy
Emotional pain can be countered by finding a self-help strategy. It is difficult to always surround yourself with friends and family, and anxiety can kick in at any time. The best way to go about this is by evaluating the emotion that you feel when the eating disorder firms its grip, and then choosing a positive counter-mechanism to starving or binge eating. You can do things like calling a friend, listening to music, reading, or just taking a walk.
Control your mind
Eating disorders can alter our sensibilities and hold our psyche hostage, but with effective coping mechanisms, we can tread the path towards recovery. With the methods mentioned above, you will be able to sustain your mental health in troubling times and get greater leverage for your treatment to show its positive effects.
Image credit: Freepik
Peter Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.
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