Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center provides comprehensive care for women and girls who are struggling with anorexia nervosa. Timberline Knolls delivers compassionate, comprehensive treatment so that the journey to healing from anorexia can begin.
Anorexia Relapse & Recovery
Relapse prevention and recovery for anorexia
Your journey to recovery from anorexia nervosa begins the moment you decide to seek help. Then, your time spent in residential care will allow you to uncover your triggers, begin to heal from past traumas, and learn effective coping tools to employ in the present. You’ll work to form healthy relationships with food, exercise, and your body as you embrace this new beginning. All of these efforts take incredible fortitude, and completing a residential program for anorexia is a major achievement.
As you think about the road ahead, the reality is that your time at Timberline Knolls is a relatively short part of your lifelong recovery process. Before you know it, you’ll be preparing for discharge and getting ready to return to your home, your family, your friends, and your community. You’ll be a healthier, stronger version of yourself, and you’ll be armed with tools for continued success. Before you leave us, we’ll make sure you have a comprehensive discharge plan in hand that outlines specific recommendations from our staff for next steps, and referrals for providers or services.
As you prepare to exit Timberline Knolls, you might be hopeful about the new life you’ve created for yourself and excited about starting a new chapter in which you are in control of your behaviors. At the same time, you might be worried about staying true to your goals for recovery from anorexia once you leave our residential program. It’s important to acknowledge that relapse is part of the recovery experience for many. While there are things you can do to prevent relapse, know that if it happens to you, you are not a failure, and you can find success again.
Why People Struggle with Anorexia Relapse
Learn what puts people at risk for anorexia relapse
While you’re engaged in therapy at Timberline Knolls, you’ll spend time talking about triggers in your counseling sessions. With the support of your therapist, you’ll work to uncover the past events, thinking patterns, and other factors that may have caused you to turn to anorexic behavior as a means of coping. Many women report turning to restricted eating as a way to feel a sense of power or control in the midst of chaos, or as a reaction to significant trauma.
No two girls or women are the same, and each person’s struggle with anorexia is unique. We do know that relapse is more likely to happen when you are exposed to a trigger and you don’t successfully employ one of your coping strategies. By being aware of what your triggers are, you’ll be better equipped to avoid people, places, and things that serve as those triggers, and respond to them safely when they arise.
How to Prevent Anorexia Relapse
Discover how you can prevent anorexia relapse
One of the most important aspects of anorexia nervosa relapse prevention is acknowledging the factors that might make it more likely to happen. No one is immune from the risk of relapse, and recovering from anorexia is a lifelong process. So take an honest appraisal of your triggers, and pay close attention to the things in your life that aren’t serving your goals for healthy living. Make a plan for what you’ll do when you feel that pull to engage in anorexic behaviors, practice the coping skills you learned in treatment, and work towards learning new ones. The more options you have for healthy self-soothing, the better equipped you’ll be to avoid a relapse in times of stress.
In addition to being aware of your triggers, be sure to strengthen your protective factors. Continue to engage with all of the support systems that your therapist recommended in your discharge plan, go to individual counseling, attend anorexia support groups, work with a nutritionist, or do anything else that keeps you on the path of healthy living. Many communities have support groups for those who struggle with eating disorders like anorexia, and these groups can be invaluable. By surrounding yourself with peers who understand what it’s like to suffer from anorexia, you’ll know that you’re not alone. Anorexia support groups can also be a source of inspiration and accountability, and have been a critical aspect of success in the early days of recovery for many.
Finally, as you think about the possibility of relapse, know that this experience happens frequently, and it does not signal failure on your part. Remember that a relapse can happen to the most dedicated individuals, and it does not have to undermine all the hard work you’ve accomplished on your journey towards recovery from anorexia.
What’s most important is how you respond to a relapse when it happens. Take some time to evaluate what may have contributed to the re-emergence of anorexic behaviors, and learn from this experience. A relapse is an important signal that it’s time to reconnect to your support network and rededicate yourself to your recovery goals. Reach out to trusted loved ones, connect with your healthcare provider if necessary, attend an anorexia support group meeting, or do anything else that helps you regain strength and focus on your journey towards recovery from anorexia.