Eating Disorder Service
Creating Hope Together

Healthcare Professional's Area

call us: 01244 397 397

Friends & Family

General Signs

You may notice that your loved one’s relationship with food changes, or you may have noticed some secretive behaviours which you are concerned about.  You may have a ‘feeling’ that something is wrong, but there may also be some clearer signs that something isn’t quite right, such as:

  •   Eating behaviours becoming more compulsive and ritualised
  •   Weight loss
  •   Reduced food portion size/excessively over eating
  •   Going to the toilet straight after eating
  •   Particularly moody/irritable
  •   Becoming more withdrawn as a person
  •   More sensitive to the cold
  •   Increased and extreme exercise regime
  •   Not wanting to eat in front of other people

These are only a few signs, but there are many more.  Remember eating disorders affect males too.  Try to talk to your loved one if you have concerns.

If a family member has an eating disorder and is under CWP services, we can offer support for parents and families through skills based workshops, psycho-educational support groups or by providing relevant reading material.  The level of input will depend on your loved one’s wishes.

If you would like more information please contact your local service.

 
Parent/Child Relationship

Does your child have an eating disorder?

As a parent, you may be in a position to recognise some early symptoms of an eating disorder which may not be visible to others. For example, not socialising with friends, disappearing and making excuses at meal times, and developing controlling or obsessive habits not necessarily to do with eating.

Parents can often feel a resounding sense of guilt when their child develops an illness like an eating disorder, however it is important to remain positive and remember that this is not your fault. There is also an urge to police eating habits, and force feed your child however it is more important that you encourage your child to seek the help of a GP to develop a professional plan for recovery and retain your parent/child relationship.

If a family member has an eating disorder and is under CWP services, we can offer support for parents and families through skills based workshops, psycho-educational support groups or by providing relevant reading material.  The level of input will depend on your loved one’s wishes.

If you would like more information please contact your local service.

 
Partner Relationship

Does your partner have an eating disorder?

There are some recognisable signs which may be more obvious to you, as a partner, than any other type of relationship.

These could include reduced signs of intimacy, continual seeking of reassurance, body checking and consistent trigger areas for arguments.

If you notice any of the listed ‘what to look for’ signs, as well as the above, it may be time to encourage your partner to visit their GP. Please see a guide to this in our "Getting Help" section.

It is important that you try to continue with any "normal" aspects of the relationship, find areas which can remain unaffected by the eating disorder and focus on them to retain your closeness as a couple.

It is easy for your partners illness to make you feel isolated, abandoned and neglect your own physical and emotional health, however this does not need to be the case.  If a partner has an eating disorder and is under CWP services, we can offer support for parents and families through skills based workshops, psycho-educational support groups or by providing relevant reading material.  The level of input will depend on your loved one’s wishes.

If you would like more information please contact your local service.

 
Friend Relationship

Does your friend have an eating disorder?

As a friend there may be some recognisable signs, which may be more obvious to you.

For example; your friend’s mood may change, they become short-tempered or seem sad, they may start avoiding social situations and start exercising far more than normal. Your friend may also seek your reassurance a lot, start buying lots of food and take frequent trips to the toilet.

If you notice any of the listed “what to look for” signs, as well as the above, it may be time to encourage your friend to visit their GP. Please see a guide to this in our "Getting Help" section.

It is easy for your friend’s illness to make you worry about things and feel helpless. You may feel that you could say the wrong thing, make them worse or even ruin your friendship. It is important that you encourage your friend to talk about their situation and find out what you can do to support them, don’t be worried about talking to your friend about how they feel and how they are coping with the situation. Be as supportive as you can whilst continuing to do the things you would usually, like eating out and socialising. Cinema trips and activities that don’t focus on food are often a good idea for friends with an eating disorder.

If a friend has an eating disorder and is under CWP services, we can offer support you through skills based workshops, psycho-educational support groups or by providing relevant reading material.  The level of input will depend on your friend’s wishes.

If you would like more information please contact your local service.

 
Sibling Relationship

Does your sibling have an eating disorder?

As a sibling, there may be some early signs of eating disorders which are easier to spot from your position, particularly if you attend the same school or college.

For example, you may find your brother or sister is lying to friends and family about what they have eaten, either at school or at home. You may also notice, or hear from friends that they are becoming less sociable and more reserved in class, and even see a change in behaviour on social media posts and pictures.

Sufferers of eating disorders can often make friends and family feel like they are losing the person they used to love, however it is important to attempt to maintain the relationship you previously had as much as possible.

If your sibling has an eating disorder and is under CWP services, we can offer support for parents and families through skills based workshops, psycho-educational support groups or by providing relevant reading material.  The level of input will depend on your loved one’s wishes.

If you would like more information please contact your local service.