By Beth Mayer, LICSW
Sometimes being in the eating disorder field can be so frustrating. Some providers (therapists, nutritionists, doctors) do not believe that full recovery is possible. I just received a call the other day from a mother who told me her adolescent daughter had been experiencing an eating disorder for the past 6 years. Her daughter had been in many hospitals, residential programs and step down programs. The family has been involved in all of her treatment. I explained to this mother that I would be happy to brainstorm with her what might be different to help her daughter achieve full recovery. The mother was shocked at what I said. She told me in the 6 years that her daughter has been receiving treatment that she has never heard anyone use the words “full recovery”. She started crying. I told her that this was totally possible and that her belief in her child’s recovery was crucial to the process. She had lost hope. She told me that people had advised her that she would need to learn how to help her daughter manage this illness, but that recovery was probably not feasible. I wonder why some folks in our community feel a need to diminish the possibility of full recovery. Are they scared that a loved one will be disappointed? Do they fear getting one’s “hopes up high”? What would happen if everyone in the world of eating disorders fully embraced that recovery can and hopefully will happen for a person struggling with an eating disorder? CNC believes that recovery is not only possible, but probable. In order for this to happen we all need to believe in this concept. Loved ones, providers and alternative healers need to believe in miracles. These miracles come true every day and our loved one’s need us to hold the hope even when they are not able.