Tel: 08500 1 22 555

Parent Helpline: Option 1

Sufferer Helpline: Option 2

Self-Harm Helpline: Option 3

Helping Someone You Love

If you are the parent of a child or if you are caring for an adult suffering with an eating disorder then we can help also. Our family and carers department has a telephone helpline for you to discuss recovery and to help you support someone towards it. We also publish helpful and practical advice about recovery for carers and a range of literature for you in your supportive role. Please look at our section on support for carers.

Real Life Account Of Recovery

It took us a lot of faith to believe in recovery when the illness seemed to defy all hope of it ever happening, especially as she had to go away from home to a specialist unit for treatment.

We knew we had to keep showing Joanna how much we loved her and that listening to her talk about her problems would help her towards recovery and help us understand things better from her point of view. We learnt also about the illness from her and from a variety of sources, which reassured us, gave us hope and advice on how to support her at the right pace.

Recovery meant far more than just having her weight restored, but by then she was able to think more clearly. Once home we continued to help her look towards the future and to see all the good about herself and what life could offer. It took a lot of time and effort reassuring her and encouraging her. Sometimes it felt hopeless and exhausting but we encouraged her to take up some new hobbies, karate for a short period, which helped her release some of the anger she felt. She stuck to the prescribed diet, which was a bit rigid, but gradually added in new foods and became more relaxed about trying different things and eating out with friends as time went by.

Looking back we can see that her recovery was a process, a series of forward and sometimes backward steps, but ones that all added up to real progress even though at the time they seemed so slow in coming. We noticed them all but didn't comment on every one as we knew how sensitive she was. No one could tell her she looked "well" or "better" because she thought that meant "fat". Being able to fit back into school was an enormous achievement for her and took an incredible amount of support, care and patience from us, from her GP, her consultant and her counsellor, as well as from friends and teachers. She continued with her GCSE exams, which she passed well despite so much time off, and this was a real achievement for her. Now she eats freely and is living life once again and knows her vulnerable times. It's interesting for us to now hear her label herself as "recovered" as opposed to "recovering" both of which are wonderful to hear.



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