Seeking help for an eating disorder can be an anxiety-provoking experience, but it’s the most important step in recovery. GPs are often the first port of call for when someone has concerns. Here’s how to navigate a GP appointment about an eating disorder.
It takes so much courage to recognise that you have a problem and that it might be bigger than yourself. Admitting that we need help, whilst incredibly daunting, is such a testament to your readiness for change. You can read more about this in our blog about the stages of change.
The GP is often our first port of call for when we have a physical or mental health issue. For many, they are the ‘gateway’ to specialist services, so it’s vital we feel able to have difficult conversations and state our needs and concerns to ensure we get the support that we need.
Here are our tips for navigating that important appointment:
- Remember that you can take a trusted loved one with you for support
- You might want to write down what you want to say beforehand, so you can feel confident you’ll communicate everything clearly
- Be mindful of how stereotypes can persist and impact the speed of referral. You can remind them that: 1) early intervention is vitally important, 2) BMI is not the soul indicator for how someone is struggling and 3) that specialist help is advised when treating eating disorders and you are in need of a referral.
- Finally, recognise that courage and strength it takes to admit that you have a problem and are in need of help. Compassionately hold this in mind if ever you start to question yourself.