Anorexia recovery begins with a conscious effort - and willpower - to want to get better. Only then can a decision to enter one of the many anorexia treatment centers (or out-patient therapy) be truly effective.
Unfortunately, preventing anorexia is nearly impossible, but is doesn't mean that there isn't hope for eating disorder recovery.
Since there is no known cure for anorexia, and no magic pill that we can take to make our eating disorder go away, what makes recovering from anorexia possible?
I think the best answer is in the form of another question that's just begging to be asked - and that is, what does "recovery" really mean?
It seems to me that every individual - with the help of an eating disorder specialist (therapist) - needs to define what recovery looks like for themselves, based on their own personal situation.
Anorexia recovery is a long process, and often a rocky road. Marya Hornbacher published her autobiography, 'Wasted' in 1998, detailing her anorexia recovery.
Mary believes that patients and their families enter the therapeutic process expecting to find some sort of a traditional "cure". Recovery plans that rely solely on medication and/or a diet to gain weight only serve to perpetuate this belief.
She notes that patients heal themselves in collaboration with medication, eating disorder therapy and support from family and friends. Clearly Marya believes that healing is possible for her, but others see it differently.
Trisha Gura, another anorexia survivor, explains in her book, 'Lying In Weight', that the eating disorder never really goes away.
She feels that the illness simply enters into remission where it lays dormant until the next life stressor or trigger comes around the corner.
One of the grim facts about anorexia recovery is that statistics show it can take years to get better. Anorexia is known as long-term illness. Some anorexia sufferers will require ongoing treatment for the rest of their lives.
Approximately 50 per cent of anorexics will return to a healthy weight and maintain normalized eating patterns. Of the remaining 50 per cent, half of them will need to consistently work at recovery, possibly throughout their lifetime.
To make recovery successful, there are several factors that will either promote or sabotage the entire process.
I suppose it goes without saying that when you're recovering from an eating disorder, healthy weight maintenance is imperative.
Weight change history and monitoring of dietary requirements is typically handled by a Dietitian or Nutritionist - preferably one who has experience treating eating disorders.
They will use a BMI formula to calculate current height and weight measurements, and then use a separate calculation to determine the percentage of body weight lost during the illness.
Height assessment is important for anorexia recovery due to the fact that anorexics sometimes have a certain degree of linear growth stunting, meaning that the illness can prevent them from reaching an average height for their age.
Recovery may or may not be able to reverse this damage, but every person is different.
Anorexia recovery can be a very rewarding process. Men, women, boys and girls everywhere begin to reclaim their lives from the hold of their eating disorders.
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