Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV) is running this free webinar sharing some strategies and tips on ways to navigate this festive and holiday season.
EDV CEO Belinda Caldwell will be joined by panelists Vicki (EDV Carer Coach) and Dannii (EDV Stories of Recovery Ambassador) will answer your questions around navigating the holiday season. The event will be recorded but you need to register to receive the recording!
When? Tuesday 6th December, 9:00pm - 10:30pm NZDT, online via Zoom.
Ask your loved one how they are feeling about upcoming events or occasions. Try to be open and empathetic, to allow them to share with you the challenges they anticipate may arise and what they are worried about. Ask them how you can best support them, what they need, what would be helpful.
This will help you both to be prepared, as well as allow you to be realistic, and better able to manage expectations around group meals and eating together.
Uncertainty can cause increased anxiety in people struggling with an eating disorder. Preparation ahead of events to reduce surprises can be really helpful by allowing both you and your loved one to feel confident and clear about what to expect.
If you are holding the event yourself, of course it is easier, but if others are hosting, it may still be possible to plan ahead to provide clarity and confidence.
For example, ahead of time:
Assist those whose company you will be in to understand what is going on for your loved one, and what they can do to make time together easier for them and for everyone in attendance. By giving others information and advice, you are setting the scene for them to be prepared and even to play a part in supporting your loved one.
Some people find it useful to send out a message in advance… here are some ideas you may find helpful:
As you may know XXXX is currently unwell with an eating disorder/Anorexia Nervosa/Bulimia Nervosa/ Binge Eating Disorder/ARFID, etc. An ED/AN/BN, etc is a serious biological brain-based illness. It is not a personality trait, a choice or a diet taken too far.
This Illness causes XXXX very real anxiety and fear about eating. This can be confusing for others, since most of us have a hard time relating to a fear of eating nutritious, delicious food. As a result, it’s not uncommon to hear people trivialise or even joke about behaviours that for those who are ill with an ED/AN/BN, etc are symptoms of a very real illness, without realising this can be very hurtful and even damaging.
In the case of Anorexia Nervosa – to help put it in perspective – think of your worst fear (heights, claustrophobia, spiders, etc.) and being required to face that fear (stand on the edge of a cliff, ride in an elevator, encounter a snake) 6 times a day, every day. That would be really scary! That is what eating is like for XXXX right now.
I realise everyone cares deeply for XXXX, and wants to assist in his/her recovery. Here are a few practical guidelines:
Do not comment or ask questions about his/her weight or what s/he is (or is not) eating. In fact, it is best not to comment on anyone’s appearance, weight or food choices.
Any ‘blame’ should be laid squarely at the feet of the illness itself.
From Exchanges – Blog of the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders
Recent research suggests that bodily processes, in addition to unhelpful thought patterns, may be at the core of AN and other eating disorders. Find out more.
Call us today! 0800 2 EDANZ or (09) 5222 679