Lapse & Relapse

Lapse - episode that is temporary and can be reversed
Relapse - episode that happens frequently enough that you feel out of control, and don't know how to get back in control

If a lapse occurs, do not give up hope. Get back on track as soon as possible, and you are likely to avoid relapse at that time AND in the future.

Signs of Eating Disorder Relapse

-experiencing an increase in obsessive thinking about food and weight
-realizing a resurgence of ingrained ways of thinking despite increased knowledge and understanding of eating disorder symptoms
-feeling a need to be in control all the time
-feeling competition with peers about whom is thinnest
-feeling hopeless about relationships, work, school, eating disorder, or one's personal life
-denying the relationship between stress, anxiety, and the eating disorder symptoms
-feeling a need to escape, such as from a place, situation, person, or group
-feeling guilty for having engaged in eating disorder symptoms that are difficult to resolve or put aside
-engaging in fantasies of perfection
-believing that success is based on the number of pounds show on the bathroom scale, or the number of calories consumed
-believing that one can purge "just once"
-believing that one's body is fat even though others say one is thin
-being unable to rely on a support system
-becoming isolated or showing little sociability
-providing therapist with inaccurate reports about the symptoms being experienced
-drinking an excessive amount of water to increase weight
-looking at oneself continually in mirrors, or avoiding ever looking in mirrors
-weighing frequently, and mood being determined by the number on the scale
-feeling comfortable only in loose clothing
-wanting to lose weight to alter a body part
-skipping meals
-choosing only "safe" foods
-engaging in ritualistic eating patterns
-exercising excessively to compensate for food intake
-ignoring pain or discomfort when exercising
-failures to follow one's meal plan or exercise plan
-having problems with meal planning: repeating the same foods several times a week, choosing foods that appear to have lower calories, omitting foods, becoming unable to complete a meal in the allotted time frame, or planning meals haphazardly
-thinking about suicide, but not mentioning it in therapy
-changing clothes several times a day
-becoming hyperactive, restless, or unable to sit still
-being unable to tolerate the feeling of food in the stomach; feeling huge instead of satisfied
-thinking when i get out of treatment, i can eat, exercise, etc.
-being secretive; not telling therapist when having a relapse or struggling to avoid having one