Eating disorders’ is a term used to describe a range of psychological disorders characterised by unusual eating habits. Eating disorders are more common in children and adults, but can develop at any age. It is normal for someone to be unaware or in denial that they have an eating disorder. Take a look at the types of eating disorders we treat.
Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses and are often diagnosed with other mental health problems, creating a dual diagnosis. Our mental health nurses and psychologists are trained to help a child or adult with an eating disorder manage a dual diagnosis.
Take a look at the common mental health problems associated with eating disorders.
We encourage that you talk with your child to see if they recognise or understand their eating behaviours. It can be scary for parents to bring up the subject, especially if it is the first time you express these concerns to them. However, the first step to recovery takes courage and openness from both parent and child. At The Bridge we aim to help patients develop a positive mental and physical well being, and become resilient to challenges. We encourage patients to develop a healthy relationship to food, their body and their mind.
It may be useful to work through this checklist with them, even if you are unsure of all of the answers. Do you find that your child:
Many children and adults with an eating disorder can feel trapped, especially if their symptoms do not fit all the boxes of one specific disorder or if they have any other mental health problem. It is usual for children and adults to deny their behaviour, and this is usually due to feelings of guilt or embarrassment. Denial could also stem from a genuine lack of self-awareness and misguided body perception. Keeping calm, empathetic and open minded during these conversations with your child is crucial for the first step of recovery and seeking help.
When your child is ready to ask for support, it is crucial to act quickly and get professional help immediately without having to go on a waiting list. Eating disorders are best treated when intervention is as early as possible. At The Bridge, we provide patients with immediate access to a multidisciplinary, patient-centred service.
The recent NICE guidelines (a national provider of guidance and advice to healthcare services) state that if an eating disorder is suspected after an initial assessment, the child should be referred immediately to a community-based, age-appropriate eating disorder service for further assessment or treatment. Our clinic is community-based, offers tailored age-appropriate treatment that is immediately accessible without the use of waiting lists.
At The Bridge, our therapy is evidence-based and focused on the individual needs of our patients. We are a multidisciplinary team of psychologists, family therapists, dietitians, mental health nurses and other health based professionals. Crucially, we are results-focused and achieve the best possible results for our patients.
How do I know if my child is in a crisis?
A crisis is when your childs physical or mental health puts them at a serious risk of harm.
For our services we deem a serious risk of harm to include a BMI under 14.5, no food intake for more than a week or an attempt at suicide in the last month.
What to do if your child is in a crisis?
If you don’t feel you can keep your child safe at this moment in time, SEEK IMMEDIATE HELP.
What help to get in a crisis?
The Bridge Service does not provide people with services where there is an immediate risk of significant harm.
If you need to speak to someone immediately because your child is at risk of significant harm, please contact:
If your child is not at a significant risk of immediate harm we can work with them.
We can get you an immediate assessment and decide which treatment option would be best for your loved one.
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