The experience of binge eating relapse while in recovery can be discouraging and heartbreaking. Remembrance of that renewed loss of control and evidence of binge eating like empty wrappers and trash strewn all over the room can look disheveled in the aftermath. But why does this happen? Is it preventable? Our Philadelphia eating disorder clinic is sharing some causes of relapse and common binge eating disorder relapse signs to look out for to prevent it from happening.
Why Did My Eating Disorder Come Back?
Whether it’s a substance use disorder or binge eating disorder, relapse is a common aspect of the recovery process for many people. Binge eating disorder is a serious eating disorder in which a person frequently consumes unusually large amounts of food.
Unlike bulimia nervosa, people with binge eating disorder do not purge or perform compensatory behaviors like using laxatives or diuretics or over-exercising to prevent weight gain or weight loss after binge eating. It’s important to note that binge eating relapse does not signify a failure but rather serves as a learning opportunity.
However, it’s best to avoid relapse if possible. Your eating disorder may have come back for plenty of reasons, and binge eating triggers can present themselves at any time during recovery.
Below are some risk factors for binge eating relapse to keep in mind:
- The length of time the individual has been living with the disorder: The longer the duration, the more likely they are to relapse.
- The person’s age when they developed their eating disorder: The older a person is at the time, the more likely they are to relapse.
- Whether the individual has received eating disorder support: Clients who are treated at an eating disorder clinic are much less likely to relapse.
- Whether there’s an increased focus or concern with body shape and weight present: Even after treatment and recovery, they still focus on these aspects.
- Whether the person exercises excessively: Continuing to exercise extensively even after recovery.
- Low self-esteem or poor ability to socialize: Not feeling sure of themselves or not being able to interact with others.
- The occurrence of negative and stressful life events or trauma: When faced with tough situations, these can trigger a relapse.
Common Binge Eating Relapse Signs
Keep in mind that recovery is an ongoing process that’s unique to each individual. Some men and women find it easy to maintain their recovery, while others may struggle with the reoccurrence of certain binge eating symptoms and behaviors.
If you or someone you know is in recovery from binge eating disorder, be on the lookout for these common binge eating relapse signs:
- Continuous thoughts about weight and food
- Feeling as if you need to escape from stress and problems
- Feeling hopeless and/or increasing sadness
- Being dishonest with treatment coordinators and loved ones about how you’re feeling
- Feeling guilty after eating
- Feeling the need to isolate yourself from your loved ones
- Your sense of self-worth and self-esteem nosedive
- You change your recovery plan
Warning signs of relapse vary from person to person, and it’s important to be honest about how you’re feeling so your loved ones and treatment coordinators can help. Remember, there’s no shame in slipping in recovery, but it’s best to avoid it by seeking support so you don’t face reoccurring symptoms.
What to Do After a Binge Relapse
If you have relapsed, there’s still hope for renewed recovery. Remember, relapse is not the end but rather a block in the road that can be overcome.
Developing a relapse plan before discharge increases the individual’s and their loved ones’ awareness of the potential of relapse and slips. The plan helps the client identify the support and accountability they need to stay on track with their recovery.
Banyan Treatment Centers offers Philadelphia eating disorder treatment for all kinds of disorders that are led by trained and expert specialists. Our treatment coordinators provide 24/7 care at our facility and set up clients with a relapse prevention plan to help them stay on track with recovery at home.