Many people striving to recover from anorexia nervosa seek out support groups to help them along the way. Due to the sensitive nature of this disorder, it is important to find a group of people who have actually experienced the issue so that they can be sympathetic during discussions. Another important feature of a good anorexia support group is the goal to recover, as some groups for eating disorders actually discourage recovery. Additionally, most good groups have a clearly defined leader who can keep discussions on topic and provide resources when necessary.
A helpful anorexia support group is usually made up of people who have been through this disorder. Many people know the facts about anorexia, but usually only people who have been through it understand the intricacies of the disease. Picking a group limited to such members can reduce the chances of someone triggering you, or causing you to relapse due to insensitive comments. In addition, listening to the experiences of others to whom you can relate may help encourage you during recovery.
Of course, choosing a group that supports the disease more than recovery would be a mistake if your goal is to move past anorexia. You may be surprised to find that some groups are even started just to help others feel good about continuing this disorder. On the other hand, some groups may start out with good intentions, and eventually morph into a collection of people who sink deeper into anorexia. Make sure that the anorexia support group you choose is aimed at promoting recovery, not relapse. Consider sitting in on a meeting before you join in order to avoid committing your time to the wrong group.
Anorexia nervosa is often difficult to combat, which is why a support group is usually sought. It is also why some groups may succumb to the desires of a few, turning into a club that encourages this disorder instead of recovery. One way to avoid this issue is for a group to assign a leader who can keep meetings on track, provide resources to members, and prevent the group from straying from the original goal of helping others recover from anorexia. The leader may be the person who started the anorexia support group, or they may be voted into this position by the members. Either way, the leader of any anorexia support group should be someone who has been through the disorder and since recovered, with the goal of helping others do the same.