This Eating Disorders Awareness Week we’re shining a light on the experiences of those with binge eating disorder, who too often tell us that they are suffering alone, without seeking help due to the fear of how others might react.
It’s an illness that many people aren’t familiar with, but it will affect one in fifty people in their lifetime. It can affect anyone of any age, gender, ethnicity or background, but like other eating disorders it’s surrounded by stigma, shame and misunderstanding. It is especially difficult to find treatment for binge eating disorder; only one in four who have had the condition ever receives it, and we now know that treatment for the disorder varies greatly depending on where you live in the UK. That simply isn’t fair.
With the pandemic and lockdowns affecting all our lives, the challenges those affected by all eating disorders face have, for many, got even harder. Our helpline has seen a 173% increase in demand for help in the last year. It’s more important than ever to get our voices heard, to stand up and speak for those who need us right now.
An important conversation we can all have is letting our local politician know that eating disorders matter, and that we need their support to change things now and for years to come.
We want to make sure that all politicians fully appreciate:
- The difficulties faced by those experiencing binge eating disorder.
- The importance of quick access to treatment for everyone with an eating disorder, whatever their diagnosis.
- The impact of the pandemic further exacerbating issues faced by those living with eating disorders.
- The need for increased training about eating disorders for doctors and other health professionals.
Your support so far has meant that we now have several politicians who champion our work, helping to keep the issue talked about in the Parliaments of the UK, Scotland and Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly, with some positive successes as a result. This is fantastic, however, in order to continue to make a difference to the lives of those affected by eating disorders, we need to have support from as many politicians as possible.
So let’s start that conversation.
Complete your details in the form and you can send a pre prepared email to your local politician in just a few clicks. But if you’ve got a few more minutes, why not include a little about yourself and your experiences, to help them understand the issue better?