Eating disorders – the carers’ perspective on their impact

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Today’s blog features the final instalment of the five-part series offering us a front row seat to the studies being presented by the New Zealand EDGI team at this year’s International Conference on Eating Disorders (ICED).

If you haven’t already, be sure to visit our previous blogs to learn more about the latest eating disorder research with insights into treatment access, delays associated with treatment and the need for research to better reflect input from minority groups.

Carer Perspectives of the Impacts of Eating Disorders

Presented by Louise Fletcher [MNSc candidate] on behalf of the ‘Costs of Eating Disorders in New Zealand’ investigators.

This study aims to investigate the perspectives and experiences of those caring for family members with an ED diagnosis.

Significant psychological and emotional impact was reported by carers as a general theme representing the experiences and perspectives of this group. Data gathered from nine semi-structured interviews indicates relationships are profoundly affected by EDs and the treatment journey, which is often challenging and difficult to navigate.

Carers explained that the worry and vigilance that accompanies an ED diagnosis in a family member “never stops”.

Team EDGI AUS would like to once again acknowledge and thank those who care for someone living with an eating disorder.

Identification of the genes that predispose individuals to eating disorders will revolutionise future research into causes, treatment, and prevention of the illness.

To help the EDGI team to identify the hundreds of genes that influence a person’s risk of developing anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder, visit the EDGI homepage to volunteer.

Should you suspect that you, or a loved one, may be living with an eating disorder, speak to your local healthcare practitioner without delay, or head to www.insideoutinstitute.org.au to complete their screener and assessment, and to access more information and professional support.

Australian professional patient support services offering 24/7 helpline services include:

o     Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636

o     LifeLine: 13 11 14

o     Men’s Line Australia: 1300 78 99 78

o     Kids Help Line: 1800 55 1800. 

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