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Help with eating disorders- advice from ANAD

Help with Eating disorders – advice from ANAD

25th August 2017

Did you know that at least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S and every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from this? These shocking figures, recorded by the Eating Disorders Coalition, express how important it is to help identify if a child has an eating disorder and to prevent it. This is why, here at Impero, we have partnered with the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders Inc. (ANAD), an organisation dedicated to help with eating disorders, alleviating suffering and providing support for those afflicted in the United States.

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that can affect anyone of any age, gender, or background. They include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder, as well as eating disorders that do not entirely match the diagnostic criteria for these, but are equally serious. These may be diagnosed as “Eating disorder not otherwise specified” (EDNOS) or “Other specified feeding or eating disorder” (OSFED).

causes of eating disorders

Eating disorders can develop as a result of a huge number of factors. Many, including bullying, peer pressure, troubles with friendships, and stress, can be found within the school environment. New students may be vulnerable, as times of upheaval like changing schools can also play a role. There is a need to eliminate these factors, in order to help with eating disorders.

crucial eating disorder traits to look out for

Behavior such as missing meals or purging may be more easily carried out at school than at home, and some warning signs might come through in school work or behavior. For example, personality traits often associated with sufferers of anorexia include perfectionism, need for control, and hyper-sensitivity to criticism. Anorexia may impact concentration and decision-making, and all eating disorders can cause tiredness, depression, and anxiety.

This doesn’t mean everyone with these eating disorder traits has a problem, and not everyone with an eating disorder will exhibit these signs and symptoms. However, these are things to look out for in order to be able to help with eating disorders, along with the terms that could be flagged by Impero’s software.

approaching someone you’re worried about

Eating disorders are difficult to broach. Like other mental illnesses, they are surrounded

by misconceptions, stigma and stereotypes. They also manifest in behavior that the person may hide due to shame or fear of judgment. On the other hand, the sufferer may not realize their eating disorder traits or want to admit there’s anything wrong.

The person who speaks with a student should be someone the student knows, trusts, and may feel able to open up to. Whether this is someone within the school environment or whether a parent or caregiver is involved should be a decision made about students as individuals. If it is a staff member, it should be someone trained to deal with vulnerable young people.

key things to remember when speaking to a student to help with eating disorders

supporting a student with an eating disorder

Often students undergoing treatment are still able to attend school, and there are things that should be done to ensure they are safe and comfortable.

For more information on how to help with eating disorders, advice and tips about eating disorders and eating disorder traits, visit ANAD’s website,  or click on the following links for free support services that ANAD offer:

ANAD Support Group , ANAD Recovery Mentors , ANAD Helpline , ANAD Grocery Buddies online support service

For more advice from some of our other online safety partners and a best practice framework for implementing a monitoring system in schools, download our Online Safety Handbook and read some of our other guest blogs.

 

 

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