Charlotte Bevan, fierce advocate and activist, died at home January 13, 2014.
A mother of teenagers, wife of a farmer, parent advocate for parents of eating disorder patients, major contributor to the Around the Dinner Table forum, writer of short information films, Expert Carer for the Eating Disorders team at the Maudsley and Breast Cancer patient.
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Friday, 25 October 2013
Janet Treasure uses a lot of animal analogies when describing carers. I know that I was the original model for the terrier. Today I am feeling a bit more Ostrich about my own illness.
Sometimes family and friends take the "ostrich approach" when dealing with the eating disorder. In the midst of distress there may be temptation to ignore or underestimate the impact of the eating disorder on the person with the eating disorder and on involved carers. Carers taking the ostrich approach may find themselves disconnecting. They may avoid going home or otherwise dealing directly with the problems created by the eating disorder. Families may feel ashamed and secretive. They may isolate and not reach out for help. They may blame the person with the eating disorder and say, "It is your problem, not mine."
Solution: It is best to work to reduce avoidance and escapism. Eating disorders are family affairs. They affect friends and everyone who cares. Eating disorders are diseases of disconnection. To reduce isolation and loneliness, work to increase connection and communication. Reach out to help and support.