How friends and families can help?
Eating Distress is a family condition
that effects each and every member of the family. Some family members may
develop great anxiety concerning the ill member's state of health. Denial
is often the first stage of the illness. Both the sufferer and some
family members may experience this. Siblings and other members may
begin to feel neglected, as the sufferer becomes the focus of
attention and is often wrongly seen as the one, who is constantly
looking for attention.
The sufferer is not looking for
attention, the sufferer needs attention.
The family's communication and other activities can be
disrupted in order to accommodate the ill person's needs.
Friends and family members are often the forgotten victims of Eating
The good news is that although recovering from an Eating Distress is often a very painful and stressful process,
the family system as a whole will improve if the family or at least
some members have the desire to change.
In the course of Eating Distress many people tend to focus immediately on
food intake and this is quite a sore spot, because the
sufferer will feel to be misunderstood.
Usually something much deeper is
bothering him/her and they have channelled their negative emotions into a destructive coping mechanism(
Eating Disorder ).
Parenting can often seem to be overwhelming, making us want to turn to experts for advice so we can just follow 'good rules of parenting'. But parents have usually more information than they are aware of
and no expert can give the parent's love .
But sufferers are often uncertain of
the parent's love even if it is constantly repeated.
Neither the sufferer nor the family can be blamed or criticised for
developing an Eating Distress.
The family is very important in the process of recovery.
Statistics show , where parents are
not involved in a therapy programme 40%-50% sufferers drop out , only 10%-15% if the parents are involved!
If someone in the family develops an Eating Distress, it is time to listen!
To help someone to recover from Eating Distress you need to expand your knowledge of the
condition. Not understanding can set the family on a dangerous course. It is important to express concerns fears and observation, but in a loving and non-judgement manner.
Do not give up!
The family especially plays a very
important role in recovery.
necessary . that both parents care equally for their child , that both parents try equally to understand , what their child is going through , that both parents share equally their love for their
child in order to be with him/her unconditionally in this difficult time. It is necessary that family and friends try to reach out to
each other and the suffering loved one in order to facilitate the
sufferer getting help and support during recovery.
People who have recovered from this illness often state that being loved as they are; being believed in, and not given up on are crucial factors in their recovery.
Families, sufferers, therapists and doctors must become a team .
The unconditional love of parents and families is a key factor for full recovery !