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Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

Hey bubblez we are going to move into helping friends next so there should be a lot of good advice for you there too

Online Community Manager

ReachOut.com

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Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

When my daughter overcame her food issues she then developed an exercise obsession.
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Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

I've read alot about the influence of mothers and the mother/child relationship and the role of femininity/masculinity on the development of ED what's your view on this as a contributing factor.

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Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

Great discussion so far guys! Thanks for all your amazing thoughts. Just a gentle reminder that if this discussion is upsetting you in any way, is overwhelming you, or you want to discuss things further there are some great helplines available: 

 

Kids Help Line (1800 551 800 - http://www.kidshelp.com.au )

Life Line (13 11 14 - https://www.lifeline.org.au/Get-Help/Online-Services/crisis-chat). 

The Butterfly Foundation which specialises in Eating Disorders, is also available for support (1300 334 673 - http://www.thebutterflyfoundation.org.au). The phone number is free and is available Mon-Fri, 8am-9pm, email service offered on website. 

 

To continue with the discussion: 

 

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to be a supportive friend to someone with an eating disorder?

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Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

In answer to the question about what is effective when it comes to treatment... This is a really tricky one. What works for one sufferer may be the thing that makes another sufferer become even more consumed!  There are obviously lots of different types of treatment options out there and it is about finding what works for the person.  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has actually been proven (research!) to work with people suffering from Bulimia.  It is often used for Anorexia but can be ineffective - but that's not to say that it doesn't help some people.  Every case really is different and treatment needs to consider this!  What research does suggest to be effective for treatment of ALL Eating Disorders is the multi-disciplinary approach.  This team could consist of a psychotherapist, dietician, allied health professionals and anyone else that the person feels may help.  It is important that the professionals that a person suffering works with do specialise in Eating Disorders.  In order for recovery to happen the sufferer needs to be working with their team, rather than with their Eating Disorder! 

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Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

Lorbeag, I haven't read about that, what do you think about it?

Online Community Manager

ReachOut.com

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Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

@Lorbeag - I think mothers can have a huge impact. Quite often, very controlling and overprotective mothers can lead to children wanting to exert some kind of control in their lives, and feeling as though one of the ways to do that is through controling their food intake and diet. Family relationships can also make life difficult in a number of ways, and I think if you have a bad relationship with a parent, it's an understandable coping mechanism to use at times... it's easy to think that despite everything that's going wrong in your life, at least maybe, you can meet the acceptable standard of thinness. Of course, that doesnt solve any of the underlying issues at all... it temporarily masks them while creating a whole new set of problems.

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Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

And thanks for the reply on effective treatments befree Smiley Happy
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Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image


Do you have any advice for someone who wants to be a supportive friend to someone with an eating disorder?


The last anonymous Q we received this week relates to this, so here is my answer...

 

How can you help friends with negative body image?

 

My Answer:

It can be really hard to know what to do or what to sat when a friend has negative body image.  Because body image is a feeling it’s absolutely normal and ok to have days when we don’t feel great about our body or the way we look.  However, if a friend seems to be having more bad days than good ones it is important that you do what we can to help them.  Please remember though, as their friend you can do your best to help, listen and support them but it’s not your responsibility to fix them. If they are experiencing negative body image, sometimes no matter what you say or what you try to do won’t help them in that

 

Some things you can do to help them:

  • Listen to and acknowledge what they are saying.  For example saying ‘I’m really sorry you’re feeling like that’ rather than ‘don’t be silly, you’re gorgeous/thin/beautiful’.  Negative body image is a very real thing and can be all consuming for some people.
  • Highlighting qualities within that you see and value in your friend or their talents and strengths.
  • Encourage them to talk to someone (a professional) to get some help for how they are feeling, it’s really important they seek some professional help if they are starting to use food and exercise to manage the way they are feeling.
  • Sometimes we might try to help our friends feel better by pointing out things we don’t like about ourselves or bully our own body.  Whilst it can normalise negative body image, berating yourself or your own body (fat talk) in an attempt to make your friend feel better about themselves, won’t help anyone feel good. 
  • Be a good role model amongst your friends – speak kindly about your own body and other people’s body shapes (if you must talk about appearance!), not engaging in diets or excessive exercise regimes, focus on what the body can do rather than how it looks are all ways that can show others what positive body image is.
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Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

My mother would have had a huge impact on the development of my ED and Marian Woodman, has referred a lot to femininity and the role of the mother in her discussions on ED and her book The Owl Was A Bakers Daughter, she also suffered from an ED and successfully recovered.