National Eating Disorders Association

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Concerns with relapse

Hello, I had previously suffered from an eating disorder from age 9 until age 27. I am now 37 and having an extremely difficult time with it again due to quarantine. I had a good 10 years of recovery without relapse. I am so disappointed in myself and not sure how to proceed.


Hi Avacomfor2 – welcome to the forums. We’re sorry to hear that you’re struggling and wanted to post some resources for support during this challenging time. A list of resources specifically for COVID-19 can be found hereThe NEDA helpline is available for help locating resources and treatment options near you and can be reached by phone M-Th 11am-9pm ET and F 11am-5pm ET at 800.931.2237. You can also chat with us online M-Th 9am-9pm ET and F 9am-5pm ET. You are not alone, and please continue to reach out to the forums as well – we hope they are a supportive space for you. 

Hi Avacomfor2,

Hi Avacomfor2,

Welcome to the forums. I am sorry you are having such a hard time. COVID 19 has definitely made life a lot harder and I know how hard it is too keep up recovery. Everyone on the forums is here to support you. Sending love and hugs.


Hi Avaconfort,

First of all, congratulations on those 10 years of recovery!
I know how is like when you relapse but I would invite you to think of it as a lapse and not as a full blown relapse.
You are still on time to stop this. You know how to fight the ED monster. Please recognize the great work you have done in the past and remember the skills you used to keep yourself far away from your ED for so many years.
COVID is bringing a lot of stress and unknown situations to our lives. But still, our ED's should not steal our peace and happiness.
Ask yourself what are the things that are triggering this relapse and make a plan to fight it.


Hi, though I am in my 50's this is the first time I have joined a chat. So, here I go. I've been struggling with my eating disorder ever since I was a teenager, nothing that has landed me in any facility. I suffer from s/c, a disorder that I feel does not get enough attention AT ALL. I even wanted to speak about it publicly. So why am I reaching out now? Not really sure, but it goes like this. I had Covid and have now lost much of my sense of taste and smell. Drs don't really know when or even if it will return. When I found myself engaging in ED behaviors regardless of the fact I am not even tasting the food, well HERE I AM! I was just doing with nuts...I know I can feel safe here and say, at least that was some sort of improvement because the cravings were ruling my life. But, now I have come to realize that it is ruling mine. It is just this activity that gives me...I think we all know the rest. Thank you for this safe place.

Dear annalise2

We are so sorry to hear you are struggling and are concerned with some of the behaviors you have described. We want to encourage you to reach out to our confidential NEDA Helpline at 800.931.2237 M-Th 11am-9pm ET and F 11am-5pm ET. You can also chat with us online M-Th 9am-9pm ET and F 9am-5pm ET. We also have to inform that we did have to edit your post slightly as it contained ED specific behaviors which can be triggering for other forum members. You can always review our community guidelines here:  We do hope you continue to post on the forums! Stay Well and Take Care!

Hi annalise2,

I am sure you know eating disorders are not about food, hunger or cravings. Everything is about control and usually, we engage on the different behaviors (c/s in your case) just to "satisfy" the anxiety that is driving us crazy or to forget about the things that are making our lives crap.

For several years, I have used my disorder to NOT feel. Once I engaged on behaviors, it seems to me that I get the effects of my ED-anesthesia and I just live my live like a zombie.

So, you may be engaging in c/s just to evade something and it really does not matter if you can feel the taste of food.

Have you been in treatement recently? You deserve attention to your problem and I want you to know that I perfectly understand you.


You're not alone

Hi Avacomfor2, I wanted to share that I too am struggling to not relapse after a very long time in recovery without significant relapse. I am frustrated and disappointed with myself. I don't understand why I'm back here, I mean I know it's about my ED being a way for me to feel in control and I feel out of control with COVID right now, but I also don't understand how that many years can stop mattering and I have to go back to fighting with myself about whether I'm going to eat or skip a walk. I'm also lost and don't know how to proceed. I didn't plan for having to deal with ED again, especially not in these kinds of circumstances. I'm sorry you are going through this too. Sending support.