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Anorexia eating

Abstract: There is no normal food plan, suitable for everyone.

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Anorexia eating

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Question(s): 
Written by: Gunborg Palme, certified psychologist and certified psychotherapist, teacher and tutor in psychotherapy.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 04 Dec 2010.

Should the family require that an anorectic family member eats normally? Should people with anorexia eat normally? What food should you give to an anorectic? What kind of eating is best for people with anorexia.

Answer:

What is normal in one family is abnormal in another. What feels normal for you may feel abnormal for your daughter. The food you are happy with and have learnt to appreciate may be quite wrong for her.

In order to help your daughter to eat better it is important to do it in consultation with her. A solution must be found which she can accept and you avoid forcing yourself on her. This is a process which has to take its time. You can influence her by making suggestions and asking if she wants to eat a certain dish.

The hopelessness and despair which many family members of anorectics feel, is associated with seeing how very self-destructive this lifestyle is.

In order to be of assistance we must understand what it is that maintains the illness. Anorexia and bulimia nervosa are in fact maintained and rewarded by their ability to reduce a patient's anxiety.

In order to recover the patient must give up a symptom which gives a feeling of control or helps the patient to endure life when feelings of stress and discomfort are overwhelming. It isn't possible to manipulate or persuade a person to recover. However, a parent can be present when her daughter needs to discuss her difficulties. Therefore, the more the parents learns about eating disorders, the greater the support they can provide.

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