Eating disorders – the carers’ perspective on their impact

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Today’s blog features the final instalment of the five-part series offering us a front row seat to the studies being presented by team EDGI NZ at this year’s International Conference on Eating Disorders (ICED).

If you haven’t already, be sure to visit our previous blogs to learn more about the latest eating disorder research with insights into treatment access, delays associated with treatment and the need for our research to better reflect input from minority groups.

Carer Perspectives of the Impacts of Eating Disorders

Presented by Louise Fletcher [MNSc candidate] on behalf of the ‘Costs of Eating Disorders in New Zealand’ investigators.

This study aims to investigate the perspectives and experiences of those caring for family members with an ED diagnosis.

Significant psychological and emotional impact was reported by carers as a general theme representing the experiences and perspectives of this group. Data gathered from nine semi-structured interviews indicates relationships are profoundly affected by EDs and the treatment journey, which is often challenging and difficult to navigate.

Carers explained that the worry and vigilance that accompanies an ED diagnosis in a family member “never stops”.

Team EDGI NZ would like to once again say a huge thank you to those who care for someone living with an eating disorder.

Identification of the genes that predispose individuals to eating disorders will revolutionise future research into causes, treatment, and prevention of the illness.

To help the EDGI team to identify the hundreds of genes that influence a person’s risk of developing anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder, head here to volunteer for EDGI.

If you suspect that you, or a loved one, may be living with an eating disorder, reach out to your general practitioner without delay.

Should you need to talk to a trained counsellor about any mental health issue, contact the 1737 helpline; free call or text 1737 or visit www.healthpoint.co.nz/mental-health-addictions/mental-health-addictions/1737-need-to-talk

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