National Eating Disorders Association

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Old ED Thoughts Stronger/Stress

So I am in my first semester of college and right before I started I finished my PHP for Anorexia/BDD. It seemed to help some,my body checking and rituals decreased and my eating was becoming more stabilized. I was slowly starting to see that the things I feared food would do, it did not. However, with the increased amount of stress I've been under I find my ED becoming stronger and so are my body checking rituals. I have noticed that I have more unhealthy thinking and goal ideas and even purged for the first time ( purging was never a part of my AN, I was only restrictive). I also keep hearing ED's suggestions of how I should return to my old way of eating and trying to convince me that even though I have not gained any weight since I have been in recovery , I should lose more.
It been very depleting lately, like I'm running out of fuel.
Has anybody ever slid back into there ED behaviors from stress or just from a rough patch?
Any advice would be appreciated.

You are not alone in this type of pickle

I work in retail as my 2nd PT job. Whenever my hours go above 20 hours per week I become more exhausted and find myself binging on food more, and grazing if there is any food that's free and yummy around our employee kitchen/lounge.

When I was college after transferring as a Jr, I began to feel more stressed over my unit load and the testing schedules, as I do Totally hate Taking any type of Performance Assessments.

I suppose its like Performance Anxiety for me...

Good Luck and I hope you find help. Talk therapy and a gym helped me most...

I relate

Hi- Congratulations on completing treatment and having some success in your recovery, that's a great accomplishment. I have found recovery from my restrictive ED behaviors and find that stress is my number one trigger. It's almost second nature or like a reflex to revert to controlling behaviors as the first way to cope with added stress. It is what is familiar and what I used to cope with everything in my life for 34 years so of course those tendencies will kick in from time to time. Having good self-awareness has really helped me to not act out on urges to revert to old behavior, and just acknowledging that that is what is happening helps me to let it go. I have other tools for coping with stress now that I can tap into when I realize I am about to use the unhealthy coping mechanisms. Good time management, self-care, writing in my journal, meeting with my therapist weekly, maintaining my healthy meals no matter what, using the 12-steps to address uncomfortable feelings, 12-step meetings and reasonable exercise are all ways I cope with stress in my life so that I don't have to make it about food or body image. I'm sure you learned coping mechanisms in treatment that you can substitute for restricting and you are aware of what is happening which means you have a choice whether or not you act on the urges or not. Try to focus on all of the successes you made in treatment and be grateful for the peace of mind that gave you when you realized you could eat and you didn't have to check your body. All of that recovery can help you through this period of feeling triggered and you can build on what you've gained without relapse. Hang in there and be gentle with yourself and post on here again so we know how you are doing. Remember that feelings will pass and you do not have to act on the urges, they can be observed, accepted, and let go of.

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