“I feel like I am sharing a living hell with my Eating Disorder.”
The current challenges of COVID-19 and isolation are affecting young people and challenging those with Eating Disorders globally.
Eating Disorder recovery or remission is based on routine. Our routine and your routine is likely to have been impacted as the world moves into a new way of organizing time, resources, work, down-time and just about every aspect of life. It’s tough. It’s challenging. It’s even more difficult when your life and recovery depends on routine. Eating Disorder ‘Recovery’ is a life saver. Anorexia has the highest death rate of any mental health illness. It is also often found to be a battle for those with other mental health concerns; depression, anxiety, obsessive behaviors and often affects the most vulnerable amongst us. Those who have suffered from the effects of childhood or other trauma.
The current advice to isolate is essential. It is not without challenge. Isolation is incredibly difficult for those with mental health concerns, addiction and eating disorders. In fact, it’s everything that we usually avoid.
Panic Buying, Over Stocking, and Obsessions on Food
Scrolling through news feeds, we watch in wonder; as we see panic buying and over stocking of kitchens in every corner of the world. Stocking with staple, long life foods; pasta, rice, frozen breads. These are often the ‘fear’ foods in Active Eating Disorders. We learn to manage but often in an environment that is not full or overstocked with potentially fear inducing produce. Add this to the fact that in many locations ‘safe’ foods are not readily available (fruits, vegetables, fresh produce) and we have a recipe for constant worry and old obsessions to fire up. There is the constant talk of gyms closed down, comfort foods on the up, supermarkets closing, restricting services, home deliveries and take aways; days are suddenly surrounded by over or under, more or less and most certainly about food subjects. In recovery from eating disorders, we encourage and manage thoughts and preoccupation with food. It seems that this is tricky right now.
Usual face-to-face therapy services are being suspended, whilst support groups are being cancelled and the routine is thrown further into chaos. It is essential to build a network of support that can help through the period of restricted movement, WhatsApp groups, video chats and online therapy and nutrition support.
Most of all stay safe. We are here if you need us.
The Wave Team @Transitions House
Excellence in Young Minds