During the holidays, many people are busy shopping for gifts, baking Christmas goodies or decorating their Christmas tree. They are spending time with their families and friends, and enjoying holiday celebrations. But for someone with an eating disorder, this time of year can be a nightmare. There is such an emphasis on food and indulging. Relatives who are unfamiliar with eating disorder make comments on weight, shape or the amount of food consumed. It causes a lot of stress and anxiety as they think about large groups of people watching them eat. Close family members are often on high-alert, running interference between relatives, as well as keeping any eye on any restricting, binging or purging behaviors.
So, how many Canadians have an eating disorder? The latest statistics reveal that approximately 300,000 Canadians – that’s men and women – are suffering with an eating disorder. And it has the highest mortality rate in comparison to all other mental health illnesses. The wait lists for beds at eating disorder units in Canada can be very long. By then, several people may get worse or die from their illness.
In order to expand the available eating disorder programs, we are combining our two established eating disorder programs, Bellwood Health Services and WaterStone Clinic. With this partnership, we will be able to offer residential stays and addiction treatment through Bellwood Health Services and eating disorder treatment through WaterStone Clinic. Whether a client suffers from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder, we will be able to create a customized treatment plan that is tailored to them and takes advantage of all our new capabilities. Moreover, this clinical initiative will simultaneously offer treatment for clients with co-occurring addictions and eating disorders.
Together, we will be able to provide customized treatment and on-going support for people with eating disorders.
Here are some tips for those in eating disorder recovery for getting through the holidays safely:
- 1. Develop a plan and decide what tools or techniques you will use in case you encounter a specific place or person so that you can ensure you practice healthy eating habits.
- 2. It’s important that you take care of your body to ensure your emotional health is in check. Getting enough sleep, exercise and proper nutrition will allow you to be in a healthy state of mind.
- 3. Reaching out and staying connected to your support buddies will help you manage stressful situations that are making you feel anxious or sad.
- 4. The holiday season can be extremely hectic and it’s easy to get caught up in the commotion, so try to be mindful and stay present.
- 5. By the way, you don’t have to love the holidays. You just have to get through it- and you will, with the right tools and support from your family, coworkers, friends or recovery network.
If you need to get in touch with someone at any of our treatment centres or at the Edgewood Health Network, please call:
Bellwood Health Services at 416-495-0926 or visit bellwood.ca
Edgewood Health Network at 647-748-5501