Continuing Eating Disorder Treatment During Physical Distancing (Also Known as Social Distancing)

By Jessica Baker, PhD

Last week, we posted a blog about staying on the eating disorders recovery path during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here at the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (CEED), we are doing our best to provide continued access to therapeutic services in safe ways. But what if teletherapy isn’t an option for you, or you aren’t working with CEED in your recovery? There are still ways to continue (or start!) eating disorder treatment during physical distancing (also known as social distancing). There are a number of self-help resources you can access to proactively stay on the path to recovery. Here are just a few:

Free Options

The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) continues to operate their help hotline. You can contact the hotline for support and resources. The hotline hours are Monday – Thursday, 11 am – 9 pm EST, and Friday, 11 am – 5 pm EST. There is a help chatline available on their website Monday-Thursday, 9 am – 9 pm, and Friday, 9 am – 5 pm EST. Finally, you can also join a NEDA support Forum.

The Centre for Clinical Interventions in Australia provides a free series of workbooks, informational sheets, and worksheets that can be worked through at home, at your own pace. Many of the topics and skills reviewed in these workbooks, are similar to the topics and skills you would discuss with a treatment provider. Click here to access the workbooks.

You can download the free Recovery Record eating disorder recovery app if you have an iPhone or Android device. Recovery Record takes best practices for eating disorder treatment and delivers them to you on your mobile device. You can use Recovery Record as a way to monitor and track eating disorder symptoms and learn about patterns in your thoughts and behaviors.

If you have a treatment provider, reach out to them using whichever communication method they have recommended! Your provider may be able to give you more personalized options for things you can do at home to stay on your path to recovery.

Cost Options

A number of self-help books and workbooks are available on Amazon or other suppliers (we specifically link to Amazon because they are still delivering and have electronic versions of many books available) through purchase and delivery of the book or through the e-reader if you have a compatible device. Some of the resources we suggest to our patients include:

Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder

When Your Teen Has an Eating Disorder: Practical Strategies to Help Your Teen Recover from Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating

Crave: Why You Binge Eating and How to Stop

Binge Control: A Compact Recovery Guide

The Anorexia Workbook How to Accept Yourself, Heal Your Suffering, and Reclaim Your Life

Overcoming Binge Eating: The Proven Program to Learn Why You Binge and How You Can Stop

Overcoming Your Eating Disorder Workbook: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Approach for Bulimia Nervosa and Binge-Eating Disorder

The Body Image Workbook

We hope that these suggestions provide you with some options to assist in recovery as we are all observing physical distancing (also known as social distancing).