How to Healthily Experience Emotions after Eating Disorders

How to Healthily Experience Emotions after Eating DisordersAnorexia and bulimia are the most lethal emotional disorders a person can have. They have devastating effects on a person’s body and mind, causing them to destroy themselves from the inside out. As terrible as these eating disorders are, with the proper help and treatment they can be brought under control. It may be hard for someone with one of these conditions to imagine, but they can healthily experience emotions if they find the right recovery program.

How Eating Disorders Affect Emotional Health

Eating disorders are physical and psychological in nature. The brain controls a wide range of important bodily functions and behaviors through an intricate and sensitive system of chemical signals and reactions in the brain. This includes the following diverse aspects of human life:

  • Sexual function
  • Fear management
  • Social bonding
  • Optimism and hopefulness
  • Remorse and guilt
  • Sadness and mourning
  • Waking and sleeping
  • Motivation for rewards of various types
  • Eating and drinking

The part of the brain that manages these functions also reinforces behaviors (forms habits) and manages anxiety. Most individuals who suffer from anorexia or bulimia have wrestled with emotional struggles such as the following:

  • Insecurity
  • Self-esteem deficiency
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Long-term verbal abuse
  • Excessive exposure to sexually explicit material or unrealistic body image messages

Eating disorders can also provide a way for individuals to feel control over their surroundings. In time they will develop a deeply distorted view of their own body, insisting that they are fat or are becoming fat when they are clearly wasting away. Many common life experiences can trigger anorexic or bulimic responses including the following:

  • Relationship stress
  • Financial uncertainty
  • The loss of a loved one
  • Problems at home, work or school

Learning to respond to stressors in life without succumbing to the habits of an eating disorder requires careful treatment by specialized professionals.

Successful Treatment of Eating Disorders

Because eating disorders are both physical and psychological comprehensive and fully integrated treatment is required for lasting emotional health to be achieved. This treatment often includes the following elements:

  • Personal counseling
  • Support groups
  • Education
  • Accountability
  • Spiritual support
  • Introduction to healthy coping mechanisms and skills

Treating an eating disorder is similar to treating any addiction. The most effective programs know how to identify and treat all co-occurring emotional disorders along with the eating disorder so that the individual can experience healing throughout their body and mind. In many cases this involves long-term support and aftercare following intensive initial treatment on an inpatient basis.

Finding the Best Help for Your Eating Disorder

If you are wrestling with an eating disorder and are ready to experience emotions in a healthy way, please call our toll-free helpline. Our counselors are standing by 24 hours a day and are ready to connect you with the best eating disorder recovery services for your specific needs. Call today.