What is the likelihood of developing another ED after recovering from anorexia? Is it quite common to develop another ED alongside recovery or does it happen afterwards?
I must admit this possibility - if there is one - scares me. I don`t want to become sick again with something else.
2 Answers from 2 different anonymous which i think answered the question great and it is always good to get other peoples views/experience. & then at the bottom my own little advice.
i don't know any scientific answer to this, but from my own experience and from observing others... I really don't think you should worry about this. If you follow through the steps of AN recovery, and you deal with your own fears, and your own insecurities (non-food related as well as food-related), you will be fine. I've seen lots of people recover straightforwardly from AN, without getting anything else. I did develop BED but it was very much before I was better from anything else, and I think that's similar for other people too, based on what I've come across. I don't think I have either of those now, partly thanks to Izzy's blog and the help she provides. As you know, one does not just catch an ED: it comes from repeatedly using food to deal with non-food issues, till one is trapped. If you learn what the issues are, how to deal with them in non-food ways, and how to eat for your body, then ... it's all fine. It works best if there are other people involved, helping in some way - at least I always found that. And after an ED, one is often far more aware of the risks and far more stable in resisting them than someone who has never been through it. I know people relapse etc, but -- that is just going back to using food to deal with other things, isn't it? You don't have to go back, and you don't have to get sick with something else. X Don't let *that* fear get in the way of recovering from the sickness that you already suffer from! It's like all fears, they are built out of what "might" happen, which takes us away from what actually IS happening. Keep focused and (I think) it will all be fine :-) Wish you all the best. X
Like anon said above, if you work hard on a full and honest recovery, then the chance of developing a different issue is greatly reduced. However, if there are cracks or reservations in your recovery from AN, then the likelihood of substituting with another disorder skyrockets. It is extremely common for people with anorexia to switch to bulimia, binge eating, or even alcohol or drug abuse. Any disorder that follows the same thought processes can be substituted for another, so be aware of the risk. However, you can make a straightforward recovery if you are mindful, dedicated, willing, and honestly work toward changing the thoughts and behaviours that got you sick in the first place. My own recovery was very messy, and I substituted a LOT (from anorexia to bulimia to binging and back, then drinking, then shoplifting, self-harm, then drugs, etc). I wanted to stop the behaviours associated with my ED, but I did not solve the problem of my sick thinking (need for external validation, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, perfectionism, black-and-white thinking, self-hatred, poor communication skills, etc), and so I merely ended up falling into other traps. It wasn't until I started really addressing the root causes and actively changing them that I began to find freedom and my self-destructive behaviour subsided. I now feel peace in my life and in my mind. Stick to it, the reward is INCREDIBLE!
Thank you so much to both of you who answered the person question, i love when you can interact in the comment sections and inspire and help each other!
When it comes to developing another eating disorder either during "recovery" or after being recovered it is usually due to not being able to cope with emotions, stress or other things in your life. The behaviours you use while you are sick, they are often coping mechanisms... or a way to run from the problem. Also the chances of developing another eating disorder are stronger if you have had an eating disorder before, but also about the way you recover. If you just focus on weight and the body change but never get to the root of the actual problem or change your thoughts then the problem will still be there and sooner or later it will make itself noticed and if you havent learnt how to cope with those problems then it is easy to resort to a negative coping mechanism. Also something i have noticed from other peples stories and also my own, is that being far too strict with food during recovery, where you never really leran balance and you monitor every bite you take and panic over eating 10 kcal extra, that can lead to a switch where suddenly your brain and your body have enough and you begin eating everything as your body and mind want the food and you have been saying "no, i cant have that" for so long. And usually forbidden things often seem more appetizing, which is a reason diets usually dont work for people as the things that are off limits are always on their mind. But it can go from one extreme to another.
But as mentioned above, if you dont get to the root of the actual problem and deal with your thoughts, mindset and coping habits then it is easy to resort to other techniques to try to cope with the problem. And it can continue like that for years where you just go from one thing to another, it is also important to be aware of things such as if you are someone who has an adictive personality then it can be good to be wary about that when it comes to alcohol and medication! But also to be aware of your triggers and know how to cope with them!!
This was alot of text, and i guess the same thing... but hopefully you have learnt something whether you read one answer or all three :)
ALSO.... IF YOU ARE DEVELOPING ANOTHER EATING DISORDER OR OTHER DISORDERED/UNHEALTHY BEHAVIOURS. TALK TO SOMEONE. DONT KEEP IT TO YOURSELF, DONT BE ASHAMED... INSTEAD ADMIT THAT YOU ARE GOING ASTRAY AND NEED HELP TO GET BACK ON TRACK!!