10 cognitive (thinking) distortions that support eating disorder behaviors

It's easy to get caught up in the behaviors of eating disorders. We can obsess over a child's eating patterns, exercise, and body weight. But the real thing we need to be looking at is their thought patterns because their thoughts underlie the behaviors. People who have eating disorders often exhibit 10 common cognitive (thinking) … Continue reading 10 cognitive (thinking) distortions that support eating disorder behaviors

Self-esteem, body image, and eating disorders – what parents can do to help

Eating disorders are strongly associated with low self‐esteem and poor body image. [1, 2] Self-esteem and body image must be improved in order to heal fully from an eating disorder because we can't change a behavior until we change the predisposing factors that drive that behavior. [3] If we tell a child that she's beautiful … Continue reading Self-esteem, body image, and eating disorders – what parents can do to help

Emotional withdrawal in the parent-child relationship can be a red flag for eating disorders and other dangerous behaviors

The most powerful emotional shield our children utilize when they are suffering is emotional withdrawal. They may withdraw slowly or abruptly, but the overall goal of the withdrawal is to protect themselves from perceived danger in their relationship with us, their parents. Children can withdraw behind many different barriers, including: Physical isolation (e.g. always in … Continue reading Emotional withdrawal in the parent-child relationship can be a red flag for eating disorders and other dangerous behaviors

Scary things your child may say while having an anxiety attack and how to handle it

Anxiety is one of the main underlying conditions that occur alongside eating disorders, which means that if you have a child who has an eating disorder, it's very helpful to learn about anxiety disorders and how loved ones can help someone through an anxiety attack. If you are a parent who has no experience with … Continue reading Scary things your child may say while having an anxiety attack and how to handle it

How to handle yelling, crying and arguments during your child’s eating disorder recovery

Many parents who have children who have eating disorders are surprised to discover that their child's disorder is about emotions, not food. While a person who has an eating disorder has symptoms related to food, the underlying issue that needs to be addressed is their emotional wellbeing. This is why it's common during eating disorder … Continue reading How to handle yelling, crying and arguments during your child’s eating disorder recovery

When your child becomes very, very angry while in recovery from an eating disorder

If your child has an eating disorder like binge eating disorder, bulimia or anorexia, you probably have a lot of questions and a lot of fear about what the eating disorder means, where it came from, and how long it will be until your child is recovered. Almost all parents have done the absolute best … Continue reading When your child becomes very, very angry while in recovery from an eating disorder

What it feels like to get away with your eating disorder in plain sight

Most people who have eating disorders remain undiagnosed and untreated, often for life. This is partly due to the weight stigma that surrounds eating disorders, which means that only those who become "medically underweight" based on BMI standards are recognized as having eating disorders. While a lot of us who are undiagnosed will find our … Continue reading What it feels like to get away with your eating disorder in plain sight

Learning how to feel feelings again when you have/had an eating disorder

When we have an eating disorder, we typically become disconnected from our feelings. Instead of moving through feelings and processing them naturally, we resist our feelings, seeking numbing behaviors out of a misguided instinct to protect ourselves from the danger of feeling. When our children are in the healing process from an eating disorder, they … Continue reading Learning how to feel feelings again when you have/had an eating disorder

Helping our children find meaning and purpose in life in ways that have nothing to do with food and body

Our children who have eating disorders are devoted to their disorders in ways we parents can find frustrating and mind-boggling. How can they be in love with a disorder that can kill them? Why can't they just open their eyes and see that everything would be great if they could just drop their eating disorder? … Continue reading Helping our children find meaning and purpose in life in ways that have nothing to do with food and body