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Eating disorders are an external expression of internal pain




Like many practitioners in our industry,


and those that are experiencing eating disorder symptoms


and those that love and care for them, seeing the news this weekend of the death of Nikki Grahame was heartbreaking.


No one should by dying of an eating disorder.


Yet sadly we know the mortality rate in AN is the highest of all psychiatric “diagnosis'.”


We need to expand services to offer support to individuals before they reach a pathologizing criteria that offers a label, and instead take an approach that encompasses physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental health.


Yes, food plays a monumental role in recovery from AN, as it does for all individuals experiencing disordered eating symptoms,


food is physical and spiritual nourishment,


but eating disorders are not about the food


nor about body weight


or self image.


they are not selfish,


nor vain.


they are an expression of pain,


that someone is unable or feels unsafe to verbalise or show in any other way.


eating disorder behaviours are often a learnt way to emotionally regulate,


a learnt way to adapt to a difficult time


a survival mechanism,


that may temporarily over ride a sense of self,


that creates new identity, a best friend and worst enemy together at the same time


that feels too scary to let go of, because life may feel too painful without it.


Therefore recovery needs to create a sense of safety to be able to feel and transcend this pain,

to learn healthy ways to cope,

to restructure thoughts,

to nourish the body and the spirit,

to reconnect to the body

and to get to know the true self.


If you are struggling or love and care for someone that is,

please stay brave,

take it moment by moment,

step by step,

meal by meal,

day by day.


Gentle, gentle, gentle.