Home > Treatments & Therapies > Support Groups for Individuals

Support Groups for Individuals

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 20 Apr 2015 | comments*Discuss
 
Eating Disorders anorexia bulimia

Many individuals suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder find great value in attending support groups. The recovery from an eating disorder is often a very long and winding road, and relapses in which an individual falls back into old food behaviours and patterns are fairly common, especially at the start of a recovery. Knowing that there is a non-judgemental place to air one’s feelings and where everyone will be supportive and understanding (and very often not a part of one’s everyday community), often gives the individual a sense of security and the strength to continue on.

Eating Disorder Support Groups
Support groups for individuals suffering from eating disorders can take a wide variety of formats. Some groups operate for specific eating disorders, such as specifically for those who suffer from anorexia or bulimia, while others embrace a wide variety of eating disorders and operate a more “all comers” attitude towards members. Some groups choose to divide along gender or age lines, for example operating specifically for teen girls, while others make no such distinctions. The frequency of group meetings may differ from a few times a week to once a month or so, and the actual agenda of the group – how members contribute, if all members must contribute, etc. – will vary as well.

One thing that almost all eating disorder support groups have in common, however, is the presence of a moderator. The moderator is usually a qualified professional with experience in the eating disorder field, such as a psychologist or social worker, and is in charge of keeping the group on topic and functioning effectively.

Finding an Eating Disorder Support Group
Eating disorder support groups often operate at hospitals or clinics, via private mental health professionals’ offices and in church, school or community halls. Inquiring at a GP’s office or a local hospital will often yield information on local support groups, as will asking at local colleges or universities. Many websites offer information on eating disorder support groups in the UK, with some offering a Help Finder section to help you find UK based groups.

Online Support Groups
Unfortunately, not every community has accessible support groups for individuals suffering from eating disorders. Anorexics, bulimics or binge eaters who find themselves without the option of attending support groups may be able to find some degree of support online. You'll find many resources, such as message borads and chat rooms for those suffering eating disorders as well as a variety of online support including ICQ and AIM lists. These groups may not be moderated by a professional, or monitored by anyone at all for that matter, and registration may be required.

Many individuals suffering from eating disorders attend support groups so that they have somewhere to go where they can discuss their behaviours, emotions, difficulties and worries without judgement. Such groups also provide the support of those who have experienced similar situations, and very often relative anonymity as other members of the group are not necessarily a part of the individuals’ lives in any other way. The safety and security that individuals suffering from eating disorders experience in these support groups often goes a long way towards successful recoveries.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
@dean1974 - The Hampshire wide Eating Disorders Service forms part of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and is run from bases in Southampton, Basingstoke and Portsmouth. It provides assessment and treatment for people with eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating and some atypical eating disorders. Your friend can contact her GP to request a referral. Please see link here. I hope this helps.
EatingDisorderExpert - 22-Apr-15 @ 11:09 AM
Hi, I currently have a client that is suffering from an eating disorder and am trying to find a local support group in the Hampshire area that they can attend, preferably in the Southampton or Portsmouth area. Any suggestions?
dean1974 - 20-Apr-15 @ 11:57 AM
I have bulimia and anorexia and I am looking for a group to go to. I am 3 1/2 yrs sober and I go to regular AA meetings and would like to find something similar for my eating disorder Thank you Kerry
Keg - 24-Jun-14 @ 10:27 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • dk99
    Re: Pica Disorder
    I've been having an addiction to washing powder since I was 3, and now I'm 21. Tide and Gain taste so good, it's like I'm on a high, but my throat…
    5 February 2019
  • Jaggas
    Re: Pica Disorder
    I eat everything. Walls, ceilings, skirting boards... my whole house has gone. I’ve got nothing left. Do I have a problem? Help
    4 February 2019
  • SkinnyRose
    Re: Causes for Eating Disorders in Older People
    I am 69, have difficulty eating for a number of reasons - dental problems, lack of motivation, difficulty…
    23 January 2019
  • Chapis
    Re: Pica Disorder
    When I was younger I use to chew on paper towels and after I would eat a cupcake I would chew on the paper it would taste delicious to me and did that…
    21 January 2019
  • Lola
    Re: Eating by Texture
    I hate slimy foods like over cooked tomatoes and onions or foods like rice when the rice has hard bits into them it makes me gag also over…
    17 January 2019
  • Landi
    Re: Eating by Texture
    I will be 37 in July... Since the age of 3 I've never eaten veggies or meat. It's affected my life and health in a massive way. My problem is…
    12 January 2019
  • Selena
    Re: Pica Disorder
    I been eating towel since god knows when like my mum kind of knows cause I pull the string out of the towels and chew them iv made like a hundred…
    10 January 2019
  • Tapping
    Re: Binge Eating Disorder
    Hi, I want to heal from my binge eating disorder as it has claimed so much of my life. I can only do online due to me living very…
    1 December 2018
  • Ruby
    Re: Pica Disorder
    I chew the paper towel cardboard holder, I don't swallow it I just chew until I can't anymore. Lately I've been having some really bad stomach pain…
    30 November 2018
  • Jazzy
    Re: Pica Disorder
    I've been eating ashes none stop Half my pregnancy I can't stop even thou I try to avoid it I crave all day when my dude buy black milds I smoke them…
    30 November 2018