Can You Really Ever Recover From Anorexia?

When it comes to addictions and disorders, I've seen a lot of women (and even some men) with anorexia that never truly got over the condition. It's one of those things that's constantly gnawing at your mind when you have it, and then it's always a battle, even after you've started recovering or you are "recovered" from it. I don't think you ever truly get over eating disorders, but you can absolutely conquer them. I have a friend who's dealt with it for years, though, and nothing has ever truly helped her because it works in phases for her. 
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  • I agree that no one can completely get over an eating disorder. Of course, you will never forget it, and the effects that it may have had on your life will be permanent, that doesn't mean that you can't fully beat it and finally say "I used to be anorexic." Key word: Used to be.
    But anorexia isn't something you just get over. I don't think any ex-anorexic has ever said "I used to be anorexic, no big deal." Anorexia is a big deal, and should be treated as such.
  • Yes it should be treated as such. What's interesting about anorexia is that it's the way someone looks at themselves from where the problem starts and yet, the solution begins from the perspective of someone else. There's no doubt that its a problem that's triggered by vanity and could only exist in one era against another because it's nonacceptance. Notice how that's one of the main underlying issues in many of these problems? I think that when people learn that the needs of the body don't change from person to person, then it might be easier to treat.  
  • I believe you CAN recover from an eating disorder.  Research documents roughly around a third of individuals will recover completely, a third will partially recover at varying degrees, and a third will become chronic.  I am not sure of the actually reality of the 'thirds', however I do believe that this incredibly complex disorder presents in different formats, in different ways, perceived in different ways, dealt with in different ways, the readiness and willingness and motivation and abilities and process is different in everyone.  The outward symptoms, particularly at diagnosis, might look similar, but the underlying function and journey differs.  So therefore for the individual I do believe that the function can have both life long effects but also can have a time limited function at a certain time of development.  Therefore I believe that for some individuals their eating disorder has worked through its journey, its function and has developed into a different path of coping or expression, therefore the ED gets 'left behind'.  It can happen, even if for some, this might not necessarily be the case.
  • sodapop_sun, I can agree with much of what you said. I can see some individuals "leaving behind" their ED. In the most severe cases, though, I don't think that's possible for the overwhelming majority of people, especially those that suffer potentially from multiple separate eating disorders. You've made good points, though. Everyone is different and has a varying ability to conquer disorders and other personal issues. 
  • I do believe that anorexia can be overcome almost completely, but there is always a sequel of some sort. 

    For example someone who has had anorexia in the past (who has overcome it) later down the road after -say- ten years may find herself as "overweight" when in an objective reality check she is still thin.

    This does not mean she will always be vulnerable to the disease, it is simply a sequel.
  • Yes, one could overcome anorexia. I know a person who was anorexic, but then she started losing her hair, and fortunately she noticed it just in time to take action. Now she's the healthiest person (well, not really healthy as she had anorexia, but you get my point). Still, you need motivation and a lot of willpower.
  • I don't think people get "cured" of their anorexia, they just manage to get it under control. Like when people say that they are a "recovering alcoholic" for example - they are not exactly cured of thier alcoholism but they have managed to control their desire to drink. 
  • I think this is partly true for almost every addiction. You can get away from your addiction, but your body and your mind will never forget about it. Sober alcoholics normally don't drink any alcohol at all since they no they could fall back, same with other substances that are addictive. Anorexia is the same, one problem with addictions is that they tend to become a habit and habits are something that's really easy to fall back into.
  • I think it's like any addition or disorder or PTSD or anything really hard people go through. You may recover and live a great life for the most part, but you still struggle a bit every once in a while and you still have to be aware not to get back into it again. I think all such things we go through leave some impact on us. Like they say that alcoholics stay such for a lifetime. You may be in recovery, you may not relapse your whole life after that...but you still have to always be aware of yourself and be careful not to relapse. May be none of us really 100% get over the bigger things, you just recover and learn to live with them and manage the aftermath. But you can still have a healthy life and never relapse again...it just may take bigger effort.
  • @nergaahl I wholeheartedly agree with you there! Motivation is the key for guaranteed success, along with the power of will and perseverance. 
    I'm glad that the person in question managed to notice that she was ruining herself just in time. There aren't many anorexic people who actually want to change, they just indulge themselves into "self-acceptation".

  • Yes you can, but you need some serious therapy to get over it.  I'm talking about years and lots of doctors visit.
  • @jessiejay I agree, this process usually takes a lot of years to accomplish, lots of money spent here and there, and stress, too. It's doable, like I initially said, but forgot to say it was tedious, but worth in the end.
  • I think it depends on the person, some people don’t really recover from it but I’ve known some people that did recover, it’s a long and extremely difficult process and some of them relapse… but I think it depends on how much that person wants to change and what kind of help and support that person receives, but is just my opinion.
  • yes you can get over anorexia, at least the behavioral aspect of it. Maybe the mental component stays with you and is harder to eradicate, but you can start eating normally again. 

    I really don't know but my impulse is to say that anorexia is a major problem with teens and young adults, but I would venture to say it is no longer as prevalent once you are talking about people in their 40's, 50's etc. I think when you are younger there are a lot more rewards associated with anorexia, then when you are older there are other things that become more important. I don't know if that is true or not, but it is just my thoughts. 
  • You can fully recover. There are quite a few success stories about defeating anorexia. It is so possible.
  • Everything is possible if you put your mind to work, my friend. You just have to believe in yourself and your ability to make it and you're halfway through the process of reaching your goals. It's a pity that most people are so easily discouraged.
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