Telling Parents you have an eating disorder

Above picture is linked to Beat website for all eating disorder helplines and forums.
        Telling a parents about your eating disorder will be hard but it's crucial as parents and family members can form the all important support circle that can be incredibly beneficial to you in your recovery. There's nothing like having love and compassion close to home or actually in the home! This post isn't for everybody as not everybody suffering from these illnesses will have to tell their parents themselves. A lot of people with eating disorders have very obvious symptoms which don't really need an explanation, they have had them from a young age and parents already have an incline that there is a serious problem. However some sufferers particularly those with bulimia Nervosa are of average or above average weight and because of this, symptoms are harder to spot. Sufferers who had developed these disorders at an older age are also more likely to have to go through something like this because they are more likely to know how to hide and keep their food issues a secret. It you're choosing to tell your parents, then here are my steps that I would recommend you take or follow as a guideline!

1. Decide to tell them before somebody else does; a secret is never a secret forever, no matter how hard a friend swears down or a teacher promises. If you've told somebody you're struggling then they're bound to get worried at some point, think you're in danger ( which you are if you're engaging in behaviors ) and tell your parents or parent. There may be nothing worse for them than to hear their child is suffering, from a third party. I would choose to tell them before somebody else does.
2. Gather information; I'm going to suggest gathering information on your eating disorder or the eating disorder that you think you might be suffering from. Go to your doctors and pick up some leaflets, print off some leaflets from websites ( I know there are some printable pages on beat ) and possibly put a mini booklet together. Producing something like this will help your parents to understand what they're dealing with and can also answer any questions they might have. Takes some pressure off you!
3. Prepare your conversation ; have an idea of how your conversation is going to go. What points you are going to make, what you specifically want to mention and need help with.
4. Prepare for their reactions; this is an important step, I think anyway. It's obvious that people act differently when given stressful of upsetting news/ are put in the same kinds of situation. Try not to be surprised or self deprecating if they seem Mad, disappointed with you, upset or even start to cry, just remember that would you are telling them can be hard hitting and people react out of the norm when stressed. However, prepare for them to also be compassionate, sympathetic, caring, loving, supportive, because after all they are your parents. You never know how they're going to react so it's best to prepare for both.
5. Timing is everything; make sure you pick the perfect timing. Wait until a time when your parents/parent is relaxed because there's nothing worse than telling them something they aren't going to like when they aren't in a great mood to begin with! Don't just blurt out ' I have an eating disorder ' over the dinner table, wait until your parents/parent have some free time on their hands.
6. Pick a setting; make sure that you pick a setting which YOU are comfortable in. Ask your parents can you have a word with them later or let them know you want to speak to them and invite them to your bedroom or the living room. Somewhere you feel relaxed, make them a cup of tea or a coffee. If you feel relaxed and comfortable then you're going to be more open.
7. Explain how you've been feeling; let them know the way you've been feeling about yourself, let them know if you're being bullied or have something really stressful happening in your life. If you know when your problems started then bring that up, it will help them understand that this isn't just a fad diet or anything along those lines. It will also be a way for you to get some things off your chest and a way for you to tell your parents without straight off the bat saying something like ' I'm bulimic '. ( basically what I did, oops )
8. Tell them you want to recover ; let them know that you are wanting treatment, wanting the help and you want to recover. Only if you do; do not lie to make your parents feel better. Which brings me to my next point!
9. BE HONEST; this is an important one. Be honest with what you tell them, don't leave anything out because it may mean you don't get the help you need and deserve. How can they cater to your needs if they don't know exactly what you need? If you're wanting to recover, being honest is a big, BIG step and super important.
10. Answer Questions; your parents/parent will obviously have a lot of questions for you; provide them with the information you gathered and let them have a read. If they still have questions and you feel comfortable answering them then DO, honestly. If you don't feel comfortable answering then it's okay to tell them that you don't want too just as long as you promise to tell them in due time. They need to know what's going on with their child to offer you the best support and the best chance at recovery.
I really hope I helped anyone? let me know.

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