Recovering from an Eating Disorder: The Stages of Change
Recovering from an eating disorder is an emotional and difficult process; it will require the help of professionals and unconditional support and love from family and friends. Nonetheless, there are potential roadblocks that may lead to intense feelings of denial, ambivalence, hostility, or, worse, treatment discontinuation.
Everyone involved in a patient’s eating disorder treatment plan should know about the Stages of Change Model by DiClemente and Prochaska. With the right support and knowledge, they can aid patients in navigating the long, hard road to recovery.
At this stage, the person doesn’t want to acknowledge the eating disorder and will exhibit anger, hostility, or frustration if questioned about it.
During this stage, the person is slowly coming to terms that they have a problem and is starting to think about getting help. They may be contemplating about the benefits of getting well with a little hesitation to ask for assistance from others.
In this stage, the person is determined to get help. Some reach out to family and friends for support, as the Eating Disorder Center of Denver notes.
At this stage, there are significant changes in the person’s thoughts, environment, and behaviors. Some are willing to try different things to face their fears of the unknown and get right on track to healing.
During the maintenance stage, the focus is building all the positive consequences of the change. This may include goals for long-term happiness, increased self-confidence, and improved health, as well as the prevention of relapse. The person will require continued support and commitment from friends, family members, and other professionals involved during treatment.
Understanding how the Stages of Change works is important, as it helps everyone involved in the recovery know the root of the eating disorder.