For Carers

"I would feel lost without SWEDA."

client, anon

Caring for someone who has an eating disorder can be distressing. Eating disorders can have a devastating impact on friends and family alike, and we understand that this can be isolating and challenging for everyone involved.

So, carers are welcome to use our services too – our Self Help Support Group and/or Counselling service is available if you need support. We also offer training and presentations to help you understand this complex illness better.

Our family support has been a vital part of SWEDA's work for more than 20 years and we are proud of the difference our service has made in that time.

Tips for supporting someone with an eating disorder

As a carer, it is important to focus on the emotions and feelings of the sufferer, and not to concentrate too much on the person's food intake. Having access to information  about eating disorders will help carers, so they understand that food and weight issues are often the symptoms of underlying emotional problems.

When caring for someone with an eating disorder there are a few main points to remember:

A gentle, encouraging attitude will ideally lead the sufferer to seek professional help and to enable them to be open and honest about their feelings. In order for the person to recover, they need to want to get better and the greatest role of a carer is to encourage, support and make the person feel accepted for who they are. Someone who values the person's individuality will be able to encourage them to develop in their own way and at their own pace, in an environment of care and trust.

“I saw a SWEDA support worker on campus at university. I had been struggling with binge eating disorder and compulsive exercise for about ten years. The SWEDA support worker was able to help me look at my relationship with food and my body in a different way. I have learned to be kinder to myself and they taught me techniques which helped me to slow down my thinking. Now I can go out and have fun without worrying all the time.”

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