National Eating Disorders Association

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Coping Skills Advice

I've been struggling with my ED for a little over 10 years now. I'm finally actively seeking therapy (for about a year) and feel incredibly stuck. I fluctuate between periods of restrictive eating and binging. At this point binging seems to be the bigger problem as it intensifies my self hate and desire to restrict even after periods of health.

I've tried asking my therapist about what I can do to minimize the binging episodes. She keeps saying that I'm in a dissociative state and unable to think with my logical brain. She believes I have a "tenacious" ED and building new neurology over a longer period of time is what will ultimately help recovery.

All this said, I want to learn tangible ways to deal with the compulsion to binge as I continue with talk therapy/working through trauma, and hopefully build those new nueral pathways. It seems the more I try to focus and problem solve the more clueless I feel. Ive tried to identify emotion/feeling before binges and all I can recognize is irritability. Deep breathing and mindfulness meditation don't seem terribly effective either. When I attempt to distract with activity the ED remains loud in the background and seems to prevent me from being invested in whatever I'm trying to do. Sometimes I feel uncomfortable and fight the urges for hours only to cave to them later.

I binge most often at night. I try to spend time with others but this gets exhausting as the urge occurs nearly every day and my roommates are away/friends are busy and it's late so I can't simply call someone to hang out. Any advice would help!

not sure if this helps

I am not sure if my advise will work for your situation, and I'm still struggling with it - but what I've found to be a little helpful is having a list of "safe foods" for when I know my inner voice might be really compelling to fall into those compulsions. For example, I have 3-4 items of food that I know if I eat, I can keep them in my stomach just because they are simple foods or healthy or what not!

That is something I've

That is something I've thought of but haven't put too much effort into trying, I will make a list and try to keep those items stocked, thanks for the suggestion. I know when I don't have good groceries it's a lot harder to stay on the straight and narrow.