Individuals with certain EDs (such as AN or BN) tend to use suppression strategies to avoid uncomfortable emotions and may struggle to communicate their needs. This may be due to low self-esteem, anxiety, perfectionistic traits, or other factors. Regardless of the reason, when needs aren’t expressed verbally, some individuals will try to communicate through their behaviors and bodies instead.
Self-advocacy requires assertive communication, which makes it possible to:
⋆ Communicate triggers
⋆ Set boundaries
⋆ Stand up for yourself
⋆ Ask for help
⋆ Build and maintain healthy relationships
⋆ Feel engaged in recovery
Self-advocacy doesn’t come easily for everyone. It takes practice. Just remember, you deserve to have your needs known and respected!
Here’s a real-world example of self-advocacy you can practice at your next medical appointment. Stepping on a scale or learning your weight can be triggering, so you should know this:
1. It’s usually not necessary to be weighed by your doctor.
2. It’s pretty much never necessary to know your weight.
3. You’re allowed to ask your doctor to respect your recovery by not weighing you without a valid reason and by not sharing your weight with you.
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