Patients with an eating disorder are likely to engage in deceptive behaviors relative to food, exercise or compensatory behaviors. Some therapists suggest "externalizing" the illness to see this deceptiveness as a symptom of the illness and the distress rather than a moral issue. Some advise parents that they can trust their child to the degree they did prior to the onset of the eating disorder, outside of issues related to weight, eating, food and treatment. They may also counsel parents to never trust the eating disorder and to personally verify any behaviors that look suspicious. Some patients report feeling frightened by the degree of freedom they are given, and feel unsafe - sometimes feeling angry at caregivers for their naivety and trust. In later stages of recovery the need for autonomy will necessarily require higher levels of trust, creating a natural issue for discussion in family therapy.
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