Better Care of Eating Disorders

I make no secret in my pledge for better care of eating disorders. This starts with increasing our education and perception of those suffering.

Let us start with Bulima; a disease that is actually all around you, though you may be blind to see it…

Have you seen this girl? She is everywhere you look only you don’t see her. You would not even think of what she is doing or understand why she is doing it.

She is walking around a supermarket with chocolate in her hand. She is wondering around the food court nibbling away at the edges of her plate before she has paid the cashier. She sits alone in a corner, flicking frantically at a magazine not reading the pages content. She is sitting alone in a restaurant asking how long the food will take to arrive and ordering quantities not suggested by her body frame.

She leaves, and if you watch, may order a take away to accompany her, or walk directly in to another restaurant’s doors, repeating her actions.

You see her in the bathroom as she exits, and thoroughly washes one specific hand. She replaces clothes, cardigans, earrings, jewellery and sprays perfume to disguise the scent of her skin. She chews gum, forces tablets down her neck. Laxatives/weight loss pills/lozengers for her throat pain.

Yet she always wears a smile, always seems polite, always has an excuse. ‘It’s my little girl’s birthday party!’ ‘I’m providing for the kids,’ ‘I’m starving,’ ‘not eaten a bite all day,’ ‘sorry but I can just not decide what to order…may I take a take away for my flat mate?’ ‘It’s not all for me, I’m buying for my friend as well.’ ‘I need to run to the bathroom – excuse me, my stomach has been off all day.’

Yet take time to look at her. Look in to her eyes and hence in to her soul. She is lost, hurting and in need of someone to find her. Her actions with food are no longer purely about her body image. They signify pain, her loss of control in all aspects of her life and her want to escape.

Just holding her gaze, resting a hand on her shoulder or telling her something nice could be enough to break ‘this cycle.’ Don’t judge her, don’t ridicule her, don’t watch with superior eyes. Just be nice. You have watched someone who is slowly, but chronically, taking their own life without necessarily realizing it or wanting to.

She is being sick because she is ill.

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