It is important to remember that a lapse is not a relapse. A lapse is a temporary return to an eating disorder behaviour, while a relapse is a full-on return to the eating disorder behaviours & thoughts. Neither signifies a failure to recover.
Lapses are a part of the recovery journey. They are a set back and can provide a very useful opportunity to join together the strategies that work for you, help you to identify your triggers, and can provide an opportunity to learn new coping techniques.
A relapse is also a natural part of the journey back to health and can also act as useful learning opportunity. This can help you to recover more quickly or easily next time.
*REMEMBER* you are never back to where you one started from.
If a relapse does occur:
- Focus on navigating your way back to health
- Seek help from the NEDRC and support network (GP, family, friends)
- Use the coping skills and techniques you have learned at NEDRC
- Try to identify the triggers that led to the relapse and consider how you could manage these triggers next time
- Boost your self-esteem by spending time with your support network and engaging in activities that you enjoy
Relapses may be prevented by:
- Making sure you have a solid support network
- Sticking with your treatment plan, and talk to your NEDRC team about any challenges you are having
- Participating in activities that make you feel positive about yourself
- Avoiding media and social media channels that promote being thin, or changing your body shape, or make you feel bad about yourself
- Talking to your friends and family about your concerns and what they can do to support you