How support services for eating disorders are in greater demand but “making a full recovery is possible”
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Many recovering from eating disorders – or those who have recovered – believe there is still a lack of understanding surrounding the topic, with the media and social media complicating matters at times.
The death of Big Brother's Nikki Grahame and Trevor Phillips’ daughter, Sushila Phillips, placed the subject further into the spotlight recently, with their stories highlighting the complexity of eating disorders in especially challenging times.
Tom Quinn, director of external affairs at Beat, an eating disorder charity, said: “Our helpline has seen a steady increase in demand during the coronavirus pandemic and hit an all-time record in March, with a 302 per cent increase in demand compared to February 2020.
"We’ve heard from those using our services about the serious harm the pandemic has caused, preventing people from being with their vital support networks or keeping to the routines that allow them to manage their eating disorder. Many people have mentioned developing symptoms for the first time or finding themselves slipping back into old thoughts and behaviours.
“Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses, but making a full recovery is possible. We'd urge anyone concerned about their health to contact their GP, as the sooner you receive the help you need, the better your chances of recovery.”
She said: “‘Recovery’ has been poles apart from what I expected. I expected to get 'fixed' and for this nightmare to be over; to get my life back.
“It's not been easy, but with SYEDA's support, family support and the friends I have met along the way, I am in a good place.
“I have come out the other side. Food no longer dominates my life. It gives me the energy I need to live and love my life.
“Nobody should have to suffer in silence, but eating disorders are more prevalent than ever before.
“Don't be ashamed. Speak out and reach out for support.”
If you are worried about your own or someone else’s health, contact Beat on 0808 801 0677 or visit the website.