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My daughter became unwell in her teens with what we now know was OSFED: Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder.
I feel very lucky to have found a support group – but it would have been wonderful if this had been available more locally.
The right support and information helps family and loved ones understand, so they can provide the love and care needed for everyone.
You just have to remember to be there for them when they need you and gently nudge them in the right direction.
On 8 July 2019, the Victoria Derbyshire show discussed the state of eating disorder treatment and the importance of family empowerment. One parent whose daughter has been ill with anorexia for eight years shares her experience.
I want to share my experience because I feel like while there is obviously a lot of support for the eating disorder sufferer and the parents, siblings are all too often the forgotten victims of eating disorders.
We didn’t speak about it at the time, about what it was like for Kate, or what it was like for her, going through this thing that we were both going through: Alex’s eating disorder.
The thing I would like to talk about is the support that I have received from my family and close friends. At times I have tried to hide everything from everyone, but I did a terrible job because the problem became clearly visible when my weight plummeted.
My friend has suffered from an eating disorder since she was ten years old. No one really knows why it started but some events clearly led up to it.
I am 16 years old and eating disorders have dictated my life from a young age, but not in the way many assume. My brother has suffered from anorexia for as long as I remember.
Sometimes it has felt like no progress is being made, and in the dark times we all feel things will never get better. But looking back over those ten years, I can see Ellen has made some remarkable achievements.
If it hadn’t been for the NHS, we wouldn’t have been able to access the care my daughter got; we couldn’t have afforded it.