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The term "relapse" is often associated with drug or alcohol use after a period of sobriety, but it can also pertain to other types of unhealthy behaviors, including various eating disorders. If you've battled an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or binge eating in the past and have overcome it, this doesn't mean that you never have to worry about contending with the eating disorder other. It's possible that it may come back, and there are several specific events that can trigger a relapse. You should be wary about the following events and, if you're feeling a desire to engage in this unhealthy behavior again, quickly seek treatment.
A Traumatic Life Event
Any type of traumatic life event may stress you to the point at which you're tempted to have an eating disorder relapse. For example, this may occur after the death of a loved one, after the breakup of your marriage, or even a major fight that results in the dissolution of a longtime friendship. When you're feeling emotionally frail, you may lack the strength to make the right decisions about how you approach food and fall back into old habits. You can't avoid all traumatic life events, but you should be cognizant of how they may affect your relationship with food.
A Comment About Your Weight
When you've effectively overcome an eating disorder, it's possible that a hurtful comment about your weight can send you into the spiral of a relapse. Even if you're eating healthier these days, you might still have a self-view of your weight that is sensitive. If someone were to say something such as, "Oh, I didn't recognize you! You look a little bigger than you used to," this may be something that deeply hurts you, and it may propel you to begin engaging in behavior that is consistent with an eating disorder again.
Exposure To Someone With An Eating Disorder
It's ideal to avoid close relationships with those who are battling their own eating disorders, as the behavior that you witness might have you starting to think about a relapse. For example, if you were a binge eater and have a friend who binge eats, even if he or she doesn't necessarily view this behavior as a major problem, it can be difficult for you to be in this environment, as you may be once again tempted to act in a manner that isn't healthy for you.
Don't be afraid to call an eating disorder therapist to seek treatment if you begin to feel tempted to have a relapse. If you have further questions, you can click for more information.