Effects on the family

Anorexia is a very manipulative illness, and families that try to ignore its existence can soon find that the anorexia is controlling the lives of all the individuals within the family. By working together, a family unit can be very successful in taking control of the anorexia and helping the sufferer overcome his difficulties with eating. I mention later on that family therapy often forms a key part of a successful treatment programme.

The main carer is very often the mother, but could be the father, an older sibling or another close relative. For the purposes of this section I have assumed it is the mother. It is likely that the main carer will have been proactive in finding out more about eating disorders, and whilst this has inevitably created a feeling of panic, she is more able to understand the feelings her son might be having. This may not be the case for other members of the family.

Because all families are different I cannot cover every possible effect that anorexia is likely to have on every different family situation. However, there are some common situations that are worth considering. They illustrate the sort of issues families may face when one member becomes anorexic.

Breaking Bulimia

Breaking Bulimia

We have all been there: turning to the refrigerator if feeling lonely or bored or indulging in seconds or thirds if strained. But if you suffer from bulimia, the from time to time urge to overeat is more like an obsession.

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