Anorexia nervosa is perhaps the world’s best-known eating disorder. People affected by anorexia lose an unhealthy amount of weight. They also tend to have a distorted view of their bodies and an intense fear of gaining weight. If you have anorexia, women’s eating disorder treatment is a must. One of the things you learn in treatment is how to overcome your anorexia triggers. By taking this crucial step, you help make yourself less susceptible to the disorder’s damaging effects. For more information, consult our Women’s Eating Disorder Guide or contact Women’s Recovery at 833.754.0554.
What Is an Anorexia Trigger?
If you have a mental health condition, a trigger is anything that produces or intensifies the symptoms of that condition. In the case of anorexia, a triggering event can reinforce your urge to do things that sustain your illness. Examples of these things include heavily restricting the amount of food you eat. They also include exercising excessively or purging calories through methods such as vomiting or laxative use.
What could serve as an anorexia trigger? The exact answer to that question varies from person to person. However, typical examples include things such as:
- Cultural and social messages that idealize weight loss or thinness
- Being repeatedly praised for losing weight
- Fat shaming and other forms of weight-based bullying
For some people, cultural messages that emphasize healthy eating habits can also function as triggers.
3 Ways Women Can Overcome Anorexia Triggers
Three great ways to avoid anorexia triggers include learning to identify your emotions to avoid returning to old habits, developing effective coping strategies, and entering an anorexia treatment program. Let’s take a look at how each one benefits women’s health.
1. Identify Emotions to Avoid Old Habits
When you’re in tune with your emotions, it is easier to identify the root cause of the emotion and, subsequently, the trigger. Sit with yourself. Ask yourself what you’re feeling, why you’re feeling it, and what you might need to feel better. Having a handle on your emotions also makes it harder to slip into old habits; in time, you will feel less triggered by unavoidable things like pervasive diet culture, new fashion trends, or having your weight checked at the doctor’s office.
2. Develop Effective Coping Strategies
Inevitably, you will face triggering situations in daily life. To escape the damaging influences of these situations, you must have a coping strategy in place. This is a plan that helps you deal with your anorexia triggers in real time.
Experts recommend a range of coping techniques for anorexia. One crucial step is developing a network of supportive friends and family. Other common strategies include:
- Recording your feelings in a daily journal
- Paying attention to the ways you talk to yourself about food and eating
- Preparing in advance for known triggering situations
- Making time for pleasurable activities
- Remaining aware of the adverse effects of society’s diet culture
- Avoiding diet culture messages as often as possible
Your doctor or therapist can also recommend other coping strategies.
3. Enter an Anorexia Treatment Program
It takes a lot of help to recover from anorexia. Effective treatment for the disorder comes in a variety of forms. That typically includes some form of psychotherapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is specifically designed to help you identify your anorexia triggers. It also enables you to recognize the situations that tend to activate your triggers. In addition, CBT shows you ways to reduce your sensitivity to triggering situations.
Other Aspects of an Eating Disorder Treatment Program
Effective treatment of anorexia goes beyond CBT or other therapies. The treatment’s primary goal is to help return you to a healthy body weight. Your doctor will typically play a lead role in this process. You may need help from a nutritionist.
Medical care is also another top priority. This care is often required to repair the damage that anorexia does to your body. Some people need emergency treatment for life-threatening health changes. You may also need to be hospitalized for other kinds of severe symptoms.
Discover Anorexia Treatment at Women’s Recovery
Many women struggle with the combined effects of anorexia and substance problems. If this is true for you, Women’s Recovery’s eating disorder program can help. Our targeted anorexia treatment will help you overcome that disorder’s effects. At the same time, you’ll receive expert drug or alcohol treatment. This combined approach maximizes your odds of a successful recovery. Call today at 833.754.0554 to learn more about our customized treatment plans. You can also reach us through our brief online form.