Understanding that an eating disorder is a person’s coping mechanism helps those around the person to realise how frightening and difficult it is for the person to let it go as they recover. It is therefore important that family and friends have realistic expectations of the pace of progress recovery
For the person with an eating disorder, controlling food and the body is their way of relieving distress and achieving some degree of control over their life. Their world feels like an unsafe place, and, for many complex reasons, an eating disorder provides them with a sense of safety.
Once trapped within the eating disorder, people often feel they need to maintain it in order to survive. They don’t know who they are or how they could cope without it.