- Inspiration for Recovery
- Understanding ED
- Emotions, Feeling and Health
- Supporting ED sufferers: Family, Carers, Friends, Teachers, Coaches ...
- Society's Influence and ED in the Media
- Men and ED
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Every ED includes a built-in mechanism for perpetuating itself; a subconscious, selective blindness called denial. A person can deny having a problem and/or the harm it can cause to themselves or others. A person may really believe that they have the situation under control. The ED sufferer believes that the solution is to lose couple more pounds.
Most sufferers feel that the situation is ‘not so bad’ and if it is bad it has nothing to do with their ED. This distortion is a psychological defence mechanism. Camouflaging facts or minimising their impact gets them through crises and painful periods as safely and ‘normally’ as possible.
The Process of Coming out of denial and attempting change:
- The person does not see a problem and does not consider attempting any changes. He/she really is not thinking about the problem as a problem.
- The person is starting to have mixed feelings. He/she is able to see that their behaviour or maybe even their thinking is not natural. They are also aware of the advantages of staying in the condition because of the danger of change.
- The person starts to think about the change.
- The person is realising that change is necessary and unavoidable. The person is getting ready to change.
- The person is actively doing something about their abnormalities in their behaviours and thinking.
Ambivalence, meaning not really seeming to care one way or another, may be present at any stage. The person is unlikely to progress simply through these stages one by one. People often go around and around adding more elements to their change.
If you are willing to help, your concern may be met with different responses, such as:
- ‘How dare you!’ The person will not welcome your concern and may get furious at you and tell you there is no problem.
- ‘Mind your own business!’ The person may tell you it is his/her life and he/she can do what he/she wants.
- ‘You are not so great yourself!’ Best defence is good offence and you might find yourself being attacked.
- ‘You are wrong!’ You will be told you are panicking and it is you who has the problem.
No one likes to be confronted with a secret, which they are ashamed of. It is important to remember that anger is a normal response. The anger is masking the fear and shame. The person feels something is going to be taken from them.