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Eating Disorders: What Lies Beneath
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What defines eating disorders? I am writing this article from experience to help you understand what your young person is going through. Eating Disorders are a complex and irrational condition that is difficult to understand. I personally suffered with Bulimia Nervosa for 20 years without knowing what was wrong with me until my first child was born and was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa at 11. I had no idea what an eating disorder was.

It can be difficult to separate the facts from widely held beliefs. There is the assumption that it is about food, weight and size. But eating disorders are more about an individuals loss of self, a sense of inner emptiness and a distorted sense of self, prompting a process of irrational thinking. It is about how they feel about themselves and their place in the world. The physical symptoms are more about the manifestation of a much deeper, psychological issues, which need to be addressed, then the physical healing can begin and be sustained. There will be times when you feel as though you are not doing enough, perhaps you are feeling at a loss and all you want to be able to do is make your child eat and all will be well. As you come to understand that eating disorders is not just about food and weight, the sooner you will be able to deal with the illness and help nuture your child back to better health.

The best place to start is your doctor or hospital, then your child will be referred to an eating disorders program. I started researching every book at the local library and websites. I wanted to help my daughter as much as I could at home but it is very important not to force your child to eat or argue with them but work with the eating disorder team. You have to understand that there is no quick fix and that it is a long journey.

Eating Disorders are not a lifestyle choice. Your child is no more choosing to have an eating disorder than you might choose to have an ulcer or high blood pressure, which might be your body's response to a particular set of circumstances.

People with eating disorders are not attention seekers but rather calling for help. They are in distress and cannot understand what is happening to them let alone articulate what they are experiencing to you, so they turn inwards to something they can control, something that will relieve the distress.....An eating Disorder.

Remember it is no one's fault.


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