Eating disorders are an increasingly common form of mental illness and a strong sign of personal distress. Whether you're just starting to worry about your physical appearance or have been suffering from your condition for a long period of time, these steps will help you get help and start feeling good about your body again.

a young woman eating an apple

Stop Blaming Yourself

Before you go any further in your quest for healing, take a moment to realize that having an eating disorder is not your fault. The pressures of modern society are incredibly high, and an individual relationship with food is one of the few places where people feel like they have personal control. Regardless of what you are currently suffering from, it's important to recognize that your desire to seek treatment means that you care about both yourself and the people around you. Admit that you need help, and take a moment to relax and realize that you've already started your journey to recovery.

Speak to a Specialist

No matter where you live, there are probably a surprising number of treatment options for eating disorders in your area. Whether you visit a wellness center or simply talk to a school health counselor, remember that seeing actual treatment is one of the first steps to getting over your disorder. A specialist will be able to help you navigate the complicated emotions surrounding your issues and can provide a clear treatment plan that suits your unique needs. More importantly, your specialist will understand that eating disorders are a medical issue and will give your case the care and attention that you need to succeed.

Follow Your Treatment Plan

One thing that many patients don't realize is that your specialist can't help you unless you follow their treatment plan. All of the advice and therapy sessions in the world won't have any effect unless you start making real changes in your life. Ask your specialist to give you written steps that you can easily follow. If something isn't working for you, bring it up in therapy; it's normal to change a plan until it suits the individual patient. Don't give up on your plan, your specialist, or yourself. As long as you keep working, your health will return with time.

Find a Supportive Family Member

Many people find that it's impossible to get over their problems without someone to help them through the process. Although you may be embarrassed or nervous to discuss your disorder with someone, recognize that it's important to find a supportive person who will be there with you during your journey. Find a friend or family member who you trust, and ask them to hear you out in a non-judgemental fashion. If you're worried about the way that your family treats you, ask your specialist what their advice is for finding emotional support.

Recovering from an eating disorder is all about healing the relationship between yourself, your emotions, your eating habits, and your physical appearance. Remember that recovery takes time; if you keep working, you'll eventually be able to return to a place of comfort and peace.

Author's Bio: 

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.