Purging is defined broadly as a series of actions taken with the intention of ridding the body of any food or liquid. The underlying factors that contribute to purging are complex and related to emotional distress, stress, anxiety and other negative emotions. As a carer and the most ideal methods of treatment, the most valuable role that you can play is one of support, non judgement and acceptance of where your loved one is at, whilst educating yourself about the illness and seeking to gain skills and strategies for you and your loved one.
A complex and uncomfortable topic is the suggestion of a co-dependent relationship between a person with an eating disorder and their parent/carer. While it is understandable that a child or adult with an active ED is very dependent on their carers, the opposite can also be true, where the parents’ emotion and actions are dictated by the eating disorder of their loved ones.
We’re about to celebrate the first month of EDFA’s Fill The Gap counselling service. In our first month of operations, more than 60 carers have attended appointments with our lived experience counsellors. The feedback has been overwhelming positive.