Partial Recovery: Differing Views

I have written in this blog many times about the concept of having one foot in and one foot out of the eating disorder. The article linked below explains very clearly the risks of that state of living and why it inevitably leads to a small life followed by relapse. 

I also think it misses two key points. 

First, not everyone's path to recovery goes from two feet in to two feet out. For some, the perspective gained from having one foot out of the eating disorder is a significant step. Only recognizing the negative part of this state of recovery acts to take that progress away, which is not helpful.

It's crucial to understand that being only half out of the eating disorder is not an endpoint. Without continuing to press for recovery, the road from there is only towards relapse. 

The other concern about this article is that the message about weight restoration is somewhat heavy handed. It's clear through all the research that weight restoration increases the chance of full recovery significantly. But that research has limitations since the subjects are mainly at inpatient programs, thus ignoring a large part of the eating disorder population.

Rather than relegate these other people with eating disorders to chronic illness, I prefer to see their road as more complex. Their path will have to include improved nourishment and health, but immediate weight restoration without sufficient psychological progress also often leads to relapse, also shown through research. 

Preparing to step fully out of the eating disorder may need psychological and emotional attention first. Both parts of treatment are necessary for full recovery. 


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