FOR PARENTS, FRIENDS AND SPOUSES
It can be frightening or overwhelming if you have child or loved one who is struggling with an eating disorder. Fortunately, there are resources to understand this illness and to help you support your loved one. It's important to know that you did not cause the eating disorder and that recovery is possible. The Alaska Eating Disorders Alliance is offering free, confidential Family and Friend support groups on a monthly basis for caregivers.
Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses. They are treatable, and the sooner someone gets the treatment he or she needs, the better the chance of a good recovery. If you are looking for local treatment team members,
Later this summer AKEDA will be offering a free 8-Week Parent Training Course. If you would like more information,
Eating disorders are not choices, passing fads, phases or special diets. Eating disorders are severe and can be fatal.
Eating disorders can be recognized by a persistent pattern of unhealthy eating or dieting behavior that can cause health problems and/or emotional and social distress.
These pages will help you understand what the various types of eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and more. You can also learn about treatment opportunities and resources you can use to support your loved one's recovery.
Resources for Parents
F.E.A.S.T. is a global support and education community of and for parents of those with eating disorders. Among their resources are a Family Guide Series, which are small booklets for the use of families facing an eating disorder diagnosis in the household. Guides include information on diagnosis, nutrition, neurobiology and treatment.
FEAST also offers a forum Around the Dinner Table, a free discussion and support group provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.
Resources for All
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) offers information to understand these illnesses. You can learn about eating disorders, including diagnoses, warning signs and symptoms, diagnostic criteria, health consequences, stages of recovery and more. Online forums are available for parents, spouses, friends and children of those struggling. In addition, NEDA offers helpful brochures.
These videos and articles are helpful in understanding eating disorders and what causes them.
How to help a Loved One, NEDA video
Eating Disorders: What Are They? Video on eating disorders by people who have experienced them
“Eating Disorders from the Inside Out” video by Dr. Laura Hill
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Eating Disorders - Includes information about each type of eating disorder, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, orthorexia, diabulimia and more.
Children Pediatric Growth Charts and Eating Disorders - learn how monitoring your child’s growth charts could prevent an eating disorder
Regular Eating for an Eating Disorder Recovery - How frequency of meals and snacks helps improve the recovery process
Eating Disorders Meal Support: Helpful Approaches for Families - Video providing strategies to help parents and families provide structure and support to youth with eating disorders before, during, and after meals.
How to Talk With Your Children About Food: Increasingly, eating disorder, and child health experts stress that the current model of nutrition education encourages disordered thinking around eating. Pushing “healthy” foods can make children like them less; demonizing and forbidding “junk” foods may make children obsess about, hide and hoard these foods when old enough to get them on their own. Here are some tips to help rather than harm.