Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Eating Disorder Service

Information for family and friends

Social and family relationships

You may notice your young person becoming irritable, distressed or angry.   This is common if he/she is beginning to develop an eating disorder.  This might make you angry or distressed too, and it is easy for family relationships to deteriorate. It is important to try and understand what is behind their feelings and give them space to share what is going on for them. They may find it difficult to talk in which case you may need to simply reassure your son/daughter that you are there for them and want to help and support them.

When a young person begins to develop an eating disorder they may become increasingly preoccupied with food, weight and shape and it can affect their peer relationships too.  They may become withdrawn from their peers, leaving them isolated and unhappy.  It is important to encourage them to keep their relationships going even if they don’t feel like it.  Friends can be supportive and a great help in the process of recovery.

Last updated: 2 April, 2019