Treating Eating Disorders: How to Identify Your Triggers

Treating Eating Disorders: How to Identify Your Triggers 1

Did you know that around 30 million Americans have had an eating disorder?

Whereas some seek intensive in-patient treatment, many never even get a diagnosis. Because many people with eating disorders don’t feel ready to accept help, treating eating disorders is notoriously difficult. 

If you have an eating disorder (diagnosed or not), you have to be your own advocate for treatment. You can make life easier for yourself or continue to be your own worst enemy. One of the best ways to recover is identifying and managing your triggers. 

However, this may feel like it’s easier said than done. Don’t worry; we’re here to help. Read on to find out more. 

Educate Yourself

The first step to recovery and avoiding triggers is learning what’s gone wrong. There are many different types of eating disorders, each likely to have different triggers. 

Use authoritative resources to learn about the main types of eating disorders (Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and binge eating disorder) and what patients usually report as their specific triggers. You’ll probably resonate with some of their stories. 

Track Your Emotions and Situations 

Next, it’s time to look at your individual habits and triggers. Start logging all your feelings and symptoms. You could do this on paper or an app. 

The most important thing is that you note down each feeling you have, what it makes you want to do, and where you are at the time. 

For example: 

  • I’m at the cinema
  • I’m feeling anxious
  • This is making me want to restrict my food. 

After a while, you’ll start to see patterns. Then, take it one step further and consider why that situation makes you feel that way. 

Try Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

There are several types of therapy and treatment intervention options for eating disorders. One of the most effective talking therapies is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). 

In CBT, you focus on identifying your trigger and then changing your internal monologue so that you don’t repeat damaging actions. 

You can talk through your triggers with a CBT therapist and identify new ways of dealing with these triggers instead of falling back into disordered patterns. 

Of course, you should seek further help if you don’t feel like this treatment is intensive enough. There are many options for eating disorder patients, and sometimes an in-patient intervention is necessary. 

In-patient facilities will always have a therapist on-hand who can help you with learning to identify triggers. 

Treating Eating Disorders: You Can Help Yourself

Treating eating disorders is extremely difficult for healthcare professionals when the patient isn’t onboard. 

You need to take an active part in your treatment if you want to recover and heal your relationship with food. Unfortunately, forced in-patient stays, or pharmaceutical prescriptions won’t be enough. You need to identify your triggers and learn new ways to be happy and healthy. 

Did you find this article helpful? If so, browse our other articles for more health and lifestyle content. 

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