Eating Disorders Affect the Entire Family

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Eating Disorders Affect the Entire Family

Eating Disorders Affect the Entire FamilyFor someone struggling with an eating disorder, their world is focused primarily on them and their personal battle with food. However, it is important to recognize the anxiety and worry connected to the family members of the one struggling.

Eating disorders have an impact on the entire family. For instance, when a sibling sees their brother or sister harming their body by not eating, they can become nervous and/or angry. When those emotions come to the surface, it does not help the sibling or the individual with the eating disorder overcome the obstacles.

When a family member is anorexic or bulimic, the entire family dynamic changes. (Family Members of the Eating Disordered Patient) Meals become more difficult to plan and you can't typically go out to dinner at the spur of the moment. Usual routines may change, which can sometimes cause other emotions to rise. It is important to recognize if a sibling is feeling anxious or frustrated with the situation. Usually it is because they do not fully understand the mental illness and should become more knowledgeable about the disorder.

By coming together as a family to discuss the situation, with or without the family member struggling with the eating disorder, you can decide on ways to attack the situation in a positive way. You can work as a team to help one another and find ways to steer clear of depression or anxiety. It is not an easy journey for any family member when someone they love has an eating disorder, but by becoming a united front – progress is possible.

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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2014, September 9). Eating Disorders Affect the Entire Family, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 16 from

Last Updated: September 9, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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