This New York Times article is interesting. From our point of view, there is always the hope that anorexia or bulimia won’t recur.
However Abby Ellin has a different perspective:
There is surprisingly little agreement as to what “recovery” means for people with anorexia.
Indeed, just a handful of studies on long-term recovery rates have been conducted over the last decade or so, and different parameters were used in each one.
Eating disorder symptoms can be seen as, in a sense, like a yellow canary – a sentinel of danger.
To explain. Years ago, coal miners would keep a canary in the tunnel. When it would stop singing, it was in indication that the poison gas had accumulated and it was time to leave the mine.
The eating disorder symptoms when they emerge are a signal to you that a relationship is stressing you. When this stress in not confronted, the Bulimia or compulsive over eating tends to get worse.
It is essential to address these stressful relationships. If you do, in my clinical experience, the eating disorder symptoms will retreat.
So one way of increasing the likelihood that the BN wont recur is to closely attend to any stressful relationships—avoid isolation and address the issues.
In my experience, this is a way of keeping an eating disorder from re-emerging.