Asking for help is something many people find very difficult, after all being strong is encouraged and admired. Eating disorders specifically convince a person that nothing is wrong, the eating disorder may even tell the person they are not thin enough, bad enough, ill enough in comparison to others. Nothing terrible has happened.
When I went approached my GP with a lower leg injury last year, I was relieved to be taken seriously. I had been pushing it down, thinking it was something and nothing, told myself other people have far worse conditions than my injury. I had even considered cancelling the appointment. At the time I not actually looked at my ankle properly, and it took another person to point out the bruising and puffiness for me to realise how bad it was. Only then did I admit to the pain.
Coming forward to admit the pain can be liberating, sometimes this is immediate, sometimes it takes a long time. My role as an eating therapist is to guide, support, signpost but also to pick out the facts. My training and experience both professional as well as personal mean I can recognise the clues, ask the right questions. Often the person has felt very alone or has been unable to admit for example they feel cold, tired, are obsessed with food, they may be hiding food, or ashamed of their binging. On the outside they appear very controlled, are admired, and complimented by others. On the inside however they often may be on the edge of chaos, tired, confused, miserable and isolated.
The relief of being taken seriously, having another person share the burden, coming away knowing there is a route forwards creates hope, and is in itself the start of something very exciting.