Eating Disorders affect the whole family and cause tension between family members, sometimes putting an incredible strain on individuals and their relationships. If you are a single parent, or a parent no longer lliving with your child, (perhaps they’re an adult child), then the task of supporting them, even talking to them can be even harder, with a consistent approach to care and treatment more difficult to achieve. You may well feel that you are carrying the burden completely alone with other friends or family members being critical or giving you conflicting advice or ‘shutting you out’. Siblings, dads, partners and worried family members can feel very alone.
We are here to offer you personal on-going support across the issue, whether you’re a parent or a husband, wife, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend; a friend, family member or colleague, so that you can help and encourage the person you care about, whether they have a diagnosed eating disorder or are showing signs of eating distress.
We can help you discuss via the parent helpline, issues of weight, emotions, trigger factors, as well as offer practical suggestions about managing emotions and mealtimes as well as seeking and receiving professional medical and psychological help and recovery of an eating disorder, so do please ring our family and friends helpline or email us.
Since ABC's Parent Services were developed in 2004, we've received calls and emails from thousands of parents who've been loving and supporting their children of varying ages through an eating disorder. Parents contact us at various stages: at the outset of the illness, in the days of suspecting or discovering, through the wait for treatment, or through treatment itself towards recovery.
We know how helpful it is to talk to someone about feelings and emotions - someone who really does understand because they've been through a similar experience. ABC's Parent Befrienders have all supported a child (inclluding adult children) through an eating disorder to recovery and use this personal understanding to befriend a parent whose child is actively struggling via weekly telephone support. If you would like more information on our Parent Befriending Service, please click here to contact a member of the team.
For details of our Support Membership for family and friends, please click here.