Castlewood Eating Disorder Treatment Center Blog

Trauma and Eating Disorders: How to Move Forward

Many of those who struggle with eating disorders have a history of trauma that often intrudes on their present life, which results in feeling overwhelmed or anxious. This causes the need for a coping mechanism to help manage these feelings and stress. An eating disorder can provide that coping mechanism, helping the individual to deal with traumatic memories and experiences. In eating disorder recovery, a key step in the healing process is when the individual acknowledges these traumas, verbalizing painful memories and associations. Needless to say, this can be a difficult process—yet it is also a necessary one. It allows for true healing to begin. By acknowledging the events of the past, an individual can learn how to move forward in recovery. Ultimately, this is a matter of balance. Looking at the past is important, and acknowledging past traumas is a key step, yet the individual must also learn to live in the present, and recognize that the here-and-now is always more important than anything that happened in the past. The past is something to be acknowledged and learned from, but not something to drive our actions and our decisions day after day. Striking this balance is one of the big challenges in eating disorder recovery. It is important for you to know how these coping methods and your eating disorder developed. Nevertheless, an important part of the healing process is learning to move forward from that—understanding why you have an eating disorder but not allowing your past to dictate your future. One highly practical way to achieve this: Talk about what happened to you. Share your story. Reduce shame; be open and honest, and in that way you can diminish the power that the past holds over you. A good place to begin this healing process is in a clinical recovery program; if you are not currently in one, we invite you to contact Castlewood today. Share your story of recovery. Connect with us on Facebook.