Relapse Signs

Recovery is a journey full of good and bad days; it takes an immense amount of work and strength. It is important that the warning signs of a relapse are recognized in order to continue recovery. If you are suffering from a relapse it is essential to tell your parents/treatment team. If you are a loved one or parent of one suffering it is important you are able to recognize the signs of relapse so you can prevent further damage and harm. 
Many people undergo relapses during recovery; at this point, sufferers can rely on support systems to receive help. Below is a list containing warning signs that can detect potential relapse from a person recovering from an eating disorder.
***Keep in mind, you DO NOT need to experience a relapse in your recovery journey and you should not go into recovery with the intention of relapsing.

***These signs will vary from person to person, but it is important if the sufferer or caregivers recognize signs of relapse to address them to the treatment team as soon as possible. 

  • Separating from the established recovery eating schedule, for example skipping meals. This could potentially be due to an individual becoming satisfied with their eating schedule. However, it can develop into a longer-term relapse if not talked about or identified. 

  • Adopting a specific diet: This is highly easy based on the fad diets social media promotes. For a person who is recovering from an eating disorder, it is extremely risky for that person to engage in any type of restrictive diet as it can lead to relapse. It is essential for both the sufferers and caregivers to identify if sufferers undertake certain diets such as vegans, fruitarianism, low fat, low carbohydrate, etc. 

  • Depression: There are various reasons why a person may undergo depression. For someone who has a history of eating disorders, depression can be caused by a decrease of nutrients. When bodies do not receive feel they begin to feel tired due to resources being distributed and as energy stores are being depleted. 

  • Avoiding a specific food: Eating disorders are known to be sneaky and will often find ways to creep their ways back when a person is brooding their food choices. If an item that was typically eaten during recovery and suddenly becomes a fear food, caregivers and treatment teams should address this as it can lead relapse. 

  • The emergence of eating disorder behaviors: For example, eating at specific times, days, locations, reducing food choices, measuring food or using certain utensils to eat. These are common eating disorder behaviors that can sneak their way back, even if someone has been in recovery for a long time. Even though this can be from satisfaction with recovery, it can lead to a relapse. 

  • Purging or bingeing reemerging 

  • Over-Excessing or preferring exercise over social activities 

  • Daily weighing or body checking 

  • Commonly looking in the mirror 

  • Lying to those who are trying to help you 

  • Desiring to be in control all the time 

  • Isolating 

  • Believing happiness and success only comes from becoming thin 

  • Perfectionism behaviors remerging 

  • Increase thoughts about weight or food 

  • Wearing loose fitting clothes

  • Becoming irritated around food

  • avoiding events that involve food

  • Individual feels as if they have no way to get rid of tress

  • Feeling overwhelmed with guilt or shame after eating

  • Hold grudge against people who are overweight, or do not eat according to their meal plan 

  • Feeling "too fat", even if people say otherwise 

  • Significant change in weight, either gaining or losing