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Everything in life seems to be canceled right now, but you can’t reschedule your eating disorder for another time. If anything, you might need support for your eating disorder recovery now more than ever. Every life transition presents challenges for those who are struggling, and COVID-19 is a huge adjustment for everyone. You might find yourself stuck at home with triggering family members, watching news reports that are increasing your anxiety about the future, and feeling a lot of sadness and disappointment about everything you had to put on hold. You may be finding that you are turning to eating disorder behaviors to cope with these feelings of anxiety, loss, and confusion.
Here are some signs you could benefit from additional support from online eating disorder therapy:
Increased urges and behaviors to control by restricting
It’s normal to feel out of control right now. We have lost a lot of freedom, and our social lives and work environments have changed drastically or disappeared altogether. Whether you’re a student, employee or parent, the shift to online classes and work can be frustrating and difficult. Responding to this loss of control by controlling your intake of food with restriction is understandable.
Increased urges and behaviors to numb with food
This pandemic and the media coverage of it brings up a lot of difficult and overwhelming feelings. It can be tempting to try to numb your emotions by overeating or binge eating, especially when you are bored at home.
Spending too much time exercising or using other ways to compensate for eating
With little left to do but read, watch TV, play games, and work out during our free time now, it can be easy to spend the majority of your time exercising. This can be especially problematic if you’ve struggled with compulsive exercise in the past and you’re using it to compensate for reduced activity due to social distancing.
Increased obsession with your body, body checking, leading to behaviors
More time at home means more time to be left alone with your thoughts –– including the disordered ones about your body. It can be especially hard to distract yourself from negative, intrusive thoughts when you are bored and socially isolated.
Increased conflict with the people you live with regarding food, your eating or compensatory behaviors
It’s harder to hide your eating disorder when everyone is home. Family members or roommates may be increasingly vigilant and paying more attention to your behaviors around food and exercise. This can lead to arguments, which not only creates tension and makes it difficult to be around your housemates, but can also spark an increase in your behaviors.
What to Do Next
If you find yourself experiencing one or more of these signs, it may be time to look into a social distancing-friendly eating disorder treatment plan, conducted via online eating disorder therapy. Yes, even though you are stuck at home, help exists. Click here to see our guide to online counseling for eating disorders that we published last year.
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Marcella Cox is an eating disorder therapist in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Founder and Clinician Director of Kindful Body. She is also a certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher and Daring Way Facilitator.
SITE DISCLAIMER: The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.