things to stop if you have an eating disorder

Stop beating yourself up. Being self-critical often goes along with many other symptoms of eating disorders, but it simply is not helpful. It does not help motivate you or help you in recovery. Instead, being overly critical of yourself can increase the amount of shame and negative emotions you experience, only exacerbating an already difficult situation. Work to stay positive and use affirmation exercises to help combat self-critical thoughts.

Stop blaming your family. Although previous writings and thoughts about eating disorders often blamed parents as the cause of eating disorders, the latest research shows that eating disorders have complex causes that include genetic and societal factors. Even if your family is a stressor and has been unsupportive, playing the “blame game” often only serves to cause problems rather than helping you move forward, as there is no way to control how another person acts. Talk with your treatment provider about how to process your relationships and move on.

Stop believing you can recover on your own. Research shows that people suffering from an eating disorder are more likely to recover with a specialized treatment team in place. In most cases, willpower, self-help books, and independent work cannot replace the professional guidance of a therapist, dietitian, and physician. These professionals have years of experience and training to help you on the road to recovery. (Exception: In some cases, especially when there are no available specialists, self-help and guided self-help for bulimia and binge eating disorder may be helpful.)