Overview

If you are reading this, it probably means that you know someone who has an eating disorder or may have an eating disorder, and you want to know how to help them. Please know that you are not alone and there is help available for you and the person you care about. Caring for someone with an eating disorder can be a very stressful and confusing time. We hope you will find topic page  empowering and helpful so that you can better cope with what is happening.

Topic Videos

Fabricating Beauty - BodyTalk

A picture tells a 1000 words but not many of them true. A look into the world of magazine photos.

  • Author: BEAT
  • Upload Date: 13/6/2011

BEAT

Stories on this Topic

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Eating Disorders - You Are Not Alone

An eating disorder is a serious mental illness that involves preoccupation with control over one's body weight, shape, eating and exercising. It can be a way of dealing with underlying unresolved emotional and psychological issues. An eating disorder is not a lifestyle choice. Check out the full blog story here: http://www.tuneinnotout.com/blog/eating-disorders-you-are-not-alone

  • Author: TINO
  • Upload Date: 2011-11-29

TINO Crew

Factsheet

Helping Someone with an Eating Disorder

Provided by The Butterfly Foundation

We have partnered with The Butterfly Foundation to bring you the best factsheet information we can on this topic. The Butterfly Foundation provides support for Australians for suffer from eating disorders and negative body issues and their carers.

spray painted word : helpIf you are reading this, it probably means that you know someone who has an eating disorder or may have an eating disorder, and you want to know how to help them. Please know that you are not alone and there is help available for you and the person you care about. Caring for someone with an eating disorder can be a very stressful and confusing time. We hope you will find topic page  empowering and helpful so that you can better cope with what is happening.

We believe family and loved ones are a key part of the solution to helping someone deal with and recover from an eating disorder.

At this present time you may be experiencing some of the following feelings:
• Guilt
• Shame
• Embarrassment
• Anger
• Agitation
• Fear
• Discouragement
• Grief
• Exhaustion
• Frustration

These emotions are very common for people caring for someone with an eating disorder. It can be a very daunting time while you struggle with mixed emotions of your own and deal with the challenges the person you care about is facing, especially knowing that you can’t immediately “fix” or restore them back to their usual self.We believe family and loved ones are a key part of the solution to helping someone recover from an eating disorder

People experiencing an eating disorder can fluctuate between being agitated, depressed, angry and demanding one day, to being afraid, compliant, sad, tearful, and heartbreaking the next. Underneath all of these challenging behaviours is someone experiencing intense levels of emotional pain and self loathing.

Patience

Recovery from an eating disorder is a slow process and can take many years. Despite this, recovery is absolutely possible. The person you are caring for may take many steps forwards, backwards and sideways, during their journey to recovery. Just when you think they may be better, relapse can occur. People with eating disorders can even be frightened of recovering – often a hard thing for others to understand. It is important that you be as calm and patient about this uneven progression and these thoughts as much as possible.

Compassionate Caring

Showing that you deeply care for someone experiencing an eating disorder is the best medicine you can give. Unconditional love and support can be the key to someone shedding their feelings of self loathing, allowing them to feel safe and supported in their journey to recovery.

Boundaries

It is important that you consistently show your loved one that they are special and loved; but not because they are sick with an eating disorder. It is too easy to make every request or demand possible when someone has an eating disorder, but this is not helpful. It is a delicate ‘juggling act’ to be at once loving, but also firm, about things such as keeping therapy appointments and trying to eat nourishingly.

Communication

It is crucial that every time you talk to the person you are caring for, that you don’t centre all your conversations on food and weight. Talk about other things as well with a particular focus on the true feelings and emotions that can be hiding beneath the illness you see every day.

Communicate using open questions which allows someone to explore and express how they are feeling. Open questions start with the words
“How”, “What”, “Why” rather than “Are you...”
“When is…”.

Externalising The Illness

When distressed by a loved one’s eating disorder behaviour it is important to not criticise them as a person. Instead, focus on the illness and your distrust and dislike of the illness itself and how it is negatively impacting on the life of the person

Where to go for help

It is important that if you believe you or someone you know has an eating disorder to seek professional assistance immediately. It can be scary to make this first step, however the earlier help is sought the quicker the road to recovery. If you require a referral to a general practitioner or
other health practitioner practicing in the eating disorder field, contact The Butterfly Foundation for a list of names and numbers.

The Butterfly Foundation offers telephone and email support for those with eating disorders and their family and friends. This confidential and supportive counselling service is available on

1800 ED HOPE (1800 33 4673) or

support@thebutterflyfoundation.org.au

You an also explore the menu on the right to discover more about the types of eating disorders.

Treatment Options

Visit our information page on Treatment Options for Eating Disorders for more information including a factsheet and videos.

 

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