Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Support to Families Who Have a Loved One With an Eating Disorder

March 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Eating Disorders, Parents

How do we support a child with an eating disorder when we’re frozen with fear?

When an eating disorder develops in someone, FEAR becomes a constant companion to many if not most families.  I hear it every  time I coach a parent, they are so afraid their child might die, or never speak to them again if they set boundaries.

Setting boundaries with a child/partner/etc who is very ill can be a daunting task. When we are afraid it becomes even more difficult. This is why it is essential to  support to families who have a loved one with an eating disorder. It takes a lot of courage to admit you are afraid and even more to ask for help. Often families don’t know what to ask for! But they all know they want their child well and they want the fear gone.

But it is hard to deal with the fear when you are reacting in a fight or flight mode. Our stress levels skyrocket and it’s tough to make rational decisions.  And there is no guidebook outlining what works for every person with an eating disorder. We must trust our gut – but first we need to be calm.

‘Easy for you to say’, you might be thinking.

March 20th another Conference Call Class Series for Caregivers begins and I have some great feedback from this most recent class to share with you! 

From Parent Participants:
“I liked that I could hear from people all over the country who are dealing with ED. It makes you feel joined together in a great group of people who otherwise might not have met or been able to transfer information about ED. EVERY PIECE OF KNOWLEDGE GAINED MAKES YOU FEEL SO LESS ALONE IN THIE STRUGGLE WITH YOUR LOVED ONE.”
“Becky has a real knack for listening and having great empathy for people, her words of wisom and knowledge of this hideous disease are comforting escpecially with people who are lost and frustrated and at their wits end. Becky gives great information for reclaiming your life back from ED. I hope to stay connected with you during my family’s struggle with ED, IT IS JUST SO COMFORTING FOR ME.”
And here is what Dawn Hynes, therapist, CEO and co-Founder of Eating For Life Alliance had to say about participating:
“It’s so important for all of us to not just focus on our clients, but to also be concerned with the challenges and struggles that family members face as well.  Unless you have personally lived with someone in the grips of an eating disorder, it is hard to imagine the overwhelming stress and frustration felt by parents and siblings in this situation…
 …This is something that I would love for all of my families to not just learn how to do, but more importantly, be OK with taking this time for themselves.”

Dawn Hynes

CEO and Co-Founder
Eating for Life Alliance
How are you or how are your clients dealing with the fears that come along for the ride with eating disorders?
A few things you can do right now are:
  • Journal
  • Breathe (very slowly and consciously)
  • Make a top 10 list of things you enjoy doing and do 1 each day
I’d love to hear what works for you!
Becky Henry
Hope Network, LLC

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