How long will this take?
Many people ask this question, but it is quite difficult one to answer. Some people suffer from an eating disorder for a year and then start intensive therapy. Some start therapy after hiding the Eating Disorder for 5 years. We do know that the sooner you take help the sooner you recover. Most people with eating disorders, especially in the beginning, resist treatment and change. They believe that if they lose enough weight, they will feel good about themselves, improve their lives, and enjoy self-confidence and success.
After a while, however, they begin to understand that the supposed benefits of thinness are only an illusion that will never bring them happiness. Starving, stuffing, purging, and other self-destructive behaviors will never lead to peace and a meaningful life. When people get to this point and when they begin to look for better ways to build meaningful lives, recovery becomes a real possibility.
Unfortunately, even then there are obstacles to progress. Between 20 and 30 percent of people who enter treatment drop out too soon and relapse. Even those who stick with it can have lapses and slips, leaving them discouraged and demoralized. Wanting a quick and easy solution to their problems, they too often give up when they find that recovery can take many months, even years, of hard work before they are free of their destructive behaviors and have resolved the underlying issues that led them to starving and stuffing in the first place.
Research studies have shown that on average people - from developing ED up until full recovery - take up to 7 years.