CHICAGO, Nov. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The holiday season can be a time full of joy, cheer, parties and family gatherings. But for many people, especially those recovering from an eating disorder, it's a time of self-evaluation, loneliness, reflection on past failures and anxiety about an uncertain future. Family gatherings with a loved one in recovery from an eating disorder can be challenging and sometimes awkward.
"In my practice, I have even seen evidence that innocent exposure to overeating with the family and during the holidays can often mark the beginning of a problem or even trigger a reoccurring one," said Kim Dennis, M.D., medical director at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center. "For those in recovery, of course, overeating during the holidays and for special occasions is commonly dismissed as traditional, and therefore, okay. However, because holidays can be a stressful time, it's important for those in recovery to do what is needed in order to make it easier on themselves and not be pressured into eating more than can be handled."
Pre-planning is important for overall success, and keeping some important tips in mind - and practicing those - can be the difference between a good experience during the holidays and a disaster. Here are some tips from Dr. Kim Dennis and the staff at Timberline Knolls for family members dealing with a loved one with an eating disorder:
Talk it Out
It's important for family members to be able to have open, honest and loving communications with their loved one. Family members need to be able to address what they are seeing and be able to state how they are feeling, as long as it's in a loving and supportive manner.
"If a family member, who has a loved one in recovery from bulimia or binge eating, wakes up and two leftover pumpkin pies are gone, it's important to address it, but address it in a loving manner. That's not always ea
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