Happy New Year! I hope each of you have had a good holiday and feel well-prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the year ahead.
This is the inauguration of a weekly blog in which we will deal with topical issues, messages, feedback and questions that we receive through this website.
One email that I received recently from a young woman asked whether she should seek treatment for her bulimia as she was now at a regular weight. I responded that it was very important for her to seek treatment as it is not the weight that is the problem, but the compulsion related to food intake. Weight is a side effect of the compulsion/eating disorder, and it is the compulsion that must be treated.
As readers and followers of this website know, eating disorders are not voluntary. Nobody would choose to have an eating disorder.
Disney recently pulled the plug on a show after it made fun of eating disorders: Disney Channel Pulls Eating Disorder Jokes After Demi Lovato Blasts Network.
This highlights the insensitivity and lack of knowledge about eating disorders and the devastating effects that they can have on one’s life. It is unbelievable that one would think that an eating disorder is something to be laughed at.
We support you in your struggle with your eating disorder. You may want to make a New Years resolution to use the worksheet to help you address the stressful conflicts in your lives. You will see that by addressing these issues the eating disorder is more controllable. In addition to the worksheet, do whatever you can to diminish social isolation. Please get supports and have the courage to seek treatment that involves addressing the issues with the people closest to you, especially your family.
A woman was recently referred to me who had struggled with her eating for over 15 years and was extremely debilitated by it. I met with her and her husband. During the session I said that it was important for me to meet with her family, with whom she still lived. I emphasised that family can be an invaluable source of support through therapy, but it may also be some of the cause of the eating disorder, especially in terms of intrusiveness and patterns of conflict avoidance.
Two days later I received an email from the woman informing me that she and her family had decided that there were no issues within their family to discuss and she did not want to continue with therapy. I was saddened by this outcome and I saw this as an unfortunate lost opportunity for this woman and her family.
I wish you a happy and productive new year. Remember eating disorders are readily treatable.
Again, as a regular reminder, I reiterate that this website is not in place of seeking professional treatment.