Home > Treatments & Therapies > Support Groups for Individuals

Support Groups for Individuals

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 15 Oct 2020 | 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..
[Add a Comment]
My daughter who lives in Portsmouth is looking for an eating disorder group to join. At the moment on-line meetings would be best for her. We have looked before and not found anything close enough for her to travel to but maybe there are on-line groups operating
Rose - 15-Oct-20 @ 4:21 PM
@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
  • Happy
    Re: Why Does Eating Make Me Feel Sick?
    I don't have an eating disorder I believe. But whenever I have anxiety and I had eaten recently, my stomach feels like it…
    21 November 2020
  • Bobbi96
    Re: Eating by Texture
    This is me with slimy textures. I can't eat eggs (mainly wites) , jelly, cooked onions - my worst is mushrooms. Can't get them past the back of…
    14 November 2020
  • Anonymous
    Re: Why Does Eating Make Me Feel Sick?
    I am 16 years old. I have been getting pretty depressed lately, and I have been hating my body. Every single time I eat I…
    13 November 2020
  • Potato Boy
    Re: Pica Disorder
    Hey this is Trevor again. What’s a towel? Anyway, just checking back in. Trump losing the erection is really stressing me out so I’ve been eating a…
    10 November 2020
  • purple567
    Re: Pica Disorder
    I've been chewing on dry towels for roughly 3 years now and I don't know how to stop. They have to specifically be dry and roughish, so I wash the…
    5 November 2020
  • Hittin’ Homers
    Re: Pica Disorder
    Don’t listen to my son Potato Boy aka Trevor. We fed him a nice diet of expired meat patties and plumbing plaster (store brand). It’s not my fault the…
    2 November 2020
  • Potato Boy
    Re: Pica Disorder
    Shut up! I like drywall! I’ve been eating drywall since I was born. It makes me feel good. Everyone always makes fun of me for it but they’re just…
    2 November 2020
  • I don’t rlly know
    Re: Why Does Eating Make Me Feel Sick?
    So I’m 13 and I’ve been like getting called fat and everything and like I kinda just ignored it until I don’t really know…
    1 November 2020
  • Peaches
    Re: Eating by Texture
    I finally feel like I have just read something that actually describes how I feel when it comes to food. I don't eat any fruit because the…
    24 October 2020
  • Rere
    Re: Pica Disorder
    I'm 33yrs old and I been eating drywall since I was very young it started with chalk then I moved up to drywall my craving is so intense whenever I…
    22 October 2020