Dealing with loss

Dealing with loss 1

Whilst there are many complex factors leading to the development of an eating disorder, they can arise during traumatic experiences (especially loss), when emotions are high and coping skills are insufficient.

Learning to work through bereavement is a necessary part of coping and overcoming grief.

Grief is a natural response to loss and includes a range of emotions such as initial shock, disbelief, anger, sadness, and guilt. The more significant the loss, the more intense the emotions. 

Not everyone finds dealing with emotions easy. Some people might feel numb; some might experience intense periods of emotion, which are difficult to tolerate; some might feel some emotions and not others. People who find dealing with emotions difficult often develop unhelpful coping strategies to deal with them and, for some, this can mean turning to or away from food.   

The problem is that grieving needs to happen in order to recover from a loss, and if it is delayed or converted into another behaviour such as an eating disorder, it can extend or complicate the process of grief.

Instead, acknowledge your pain and seek the support of people who have meaning to you and share your experience of the loss. Or, if that’s not possible, seek the support of a bereavement counsellor.

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