Whether you are a Support Worker, Nurse, Doctor, Dietitian, Teacher, Health Visitor or other professional, if you are supporting someone who is struggling in their relationship with food and body image it is essential they are able to access appropriate support as early as possible. There are numerous reasons why someone develops difficulties with food and body image and why this becomes habitual. It can be very common whether someone is restricting, bingeing, purging, overeating or a combination of these behaviours that there is an expectation just to stop, to snap out of it but unfortunately it's not that simple.
Disorder eating does not exist in isolation, it develops as a coping strategy to the numerous stresses in day to day life. In the short term it can be highly effective and helps someone to numb, distract or dissociate from painful emotions and experiences. It helps them to distance themselves from what would otherwise overwhelm them. However, over longer periods they can develop an unhealthy dependency on the behaviours, unable to function without them. The behaviours begin to become part of their identity and they will struggle to separate themselves from the behaviours. Over time this has a significant negative impact on mental, emotional and physical well being. Currently they do not have a better strategy for coping day to day.
Research shows that when it comes to disordered eating and body image distress, early intervention has the best outcome. The longer the behaviours have been in place the longer it will take to recover. However, I always remain hopeful as there is so much more we know about effective treatment. Professionals can be a necessary resource during recovery and where appropriate I can work with you to ensure the best outcome.
There is no requirement that the person you support has a diagnosis to access the Recovery Programme. If they are struggling in their relationship with food and their body you can take the first step towards their recovery and request an Assessment Pack today. Recovery is possible and they can learn to live a life free from distressing, unhealthy and life limiting behaviours, and improve their relationship with food, their bodies and themselves.
Please be aware that there is a huge amount of inaccurate, unreliable and out of date information available on disordered eating and body image distress. The following three sites provide accurate, reliable and up to date information.
The UK's leading eating disorder charity offering information, resources and support.
The New Maudsley Approach
A resource for Carers and Professionals of people with eating disorders.
National Centre for Eating Disorders
An organisation providing information, resources and training on eating disorders..