“We’ve got you” Mondays
Every Monday we share support and altered service information from our Partners, to help maintain your mental health and navigate the current pandemic.
This week we want to bring you the supports of Bodywhys.
Bodywhys is the national voluntary organisation supporting people affected by eating disorders. They ensure support, awareness and understanding of eating disorders amongst the wider community as well as advocating for the rights and healthcare needs of people affected by eating disorders.
They also provide a number of supports, that are still available. Below you will find more information.
What are people with eating disorders saying?
The current pandemic has, understandably, heightened some of the difficulties faced by people with eating disorders. Uncertainty, a sense of panic, being overwhelmed and out of control are what people have described to Bodywhys in recent weeks. Routines have shifted, coping strategies have felt unreachable and relapsing feels like it’s on the horizon.
What is Bodywhys doing?
We have seen increased attendance from both new and existing online support group users since the Government and HSE have moved to respond to the virus. Our email service continues as a key point of contact, and in recent years, has been our busiest support structure. In online support groups, peer interaction allows for open discussion of not just the ins and outs of eating disorders, but coping strategies and what people have on their minds. Hearing from others in a similar situation, no matter the age, gender or diagnosis, is often helpful. These services are well-established and embedded into our core work. Some people use them once or twice, others more regularly during the year, or occasionally as a way of seeking support and allowing themselves to feel heard.
Family, social and personal relationships are directly impacted when someone experiences an eating disorder. Contact, closeness and connectivity across key social aspects of someone’s life often reduce as isolation takes hold. This is not about blame. Blame in eating disorders is not constructive.
Adaptation to new, unseen circumstances is not easy. Recovery is hard. Just as an eating disorder does not unfold overnight, time is a critical factor in recovery. Quite simply, recovery is a process. It cannot happen merely on battery life and glitches arise. This is clear from treatment, research, books, videos, essays and the voices of those with personal experience.
For those who wish to contend that eating disorders are a ‘first world problem’, bear in mind that living with this illness feels deeply confining for the person. Their social world is smaller, and they can’t always make decisions in their best interest. This, coupled with the present circumstances, make increased stress levels unsurprising. In this particularly challenging time speaking up is OK, even if your eating disorder says otherwise.
- The Bodywhys perspective on COVID19. https://www.bodywhys.ie/eating-disorders-coronavirus-covid-19/
- Bodywhys online services and helpline. https://www.bodywhys.ie/support-services-update-coronavirus-covid-19/
- The HSE’s Eating Disorders app. https://ncped.selfcareapp.mobi/
Social media @bodywhys across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Bodywhys Ireland on Youtube
If you are in need of support please reach out and avail of any of the above resources