A helping hand

by Emma

I have been working with a young anorexic girl today. She is in hospital at the moment due to extreme weight loss and ill health. She is 14.

During my time with her, she was exercising non stop and counting every calorie. She was also non-stop questioning me on weight loss.

She cried and begged us to make her stop. She was internally struggling with her own logic, but also the coercion of her ‘anorexic voice’. Yet, with the exception of physical restraint, we were unable to do this.

Therapy begins with the acknowledgement of a problem, followed by therapy, aimed at changing a cognition, and a behaviour. In eating disorders, it begins with an admission, and it starts with an emotional and psychological war. It is emotionally distressing for the individual, and also for their friends and families. It is natural to want to support your loved one, yet the family need to take on the role of the guard and enforcer, to offer them appropriate care and safeguarding.

I spent time with her and we talked about her fears, her anxieties, her irrational cognitions. It is a long and hard journey but it is fundamental. I have personal experience of this. I was this 14 year old and I fought my own demons.

I won.

A mental health problem is not just a hidden stigma. It is not just something which a select few suffer from. It really can happen to any of us. It is distressing. It is heartbreaking. However, there is a positive destination. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Support, compassion, and comprehension really do make a difference. Everybody can help.

We all simply just need to hold out a hand.

Really that is all it takes.

The mind of a deep thinker…or complete rubbish…it is all down to interpretation and perception…