Watching a dear friend descend into the hell of an eating disorder can cause feelings of utter helplessness – what to do, how to help? When her friend developed anorexia nervosa more than 12 months ago, Judy Baulch was feeling ‘absolutely powerless’.
“Helplessness was accompanied by frustration and disbelief as the cracks my friend had fallen through in the health care system became more and more obvious,” Judy said.
“It seemed to me that she was put in a ‘too hard’ basket. What does one do with a professional woman in her forties, with a marriage and children, who is slowly starving to death in the grip of a poorly understood mental illness?
“I thought there must be other older women struggling with an eating disorder, unaware of how to find help. I started with the Internet and found I was right – there were way too many women out there suffering.
“And so I decided to use the platform available to me as a journalist to let them know they were not alone in the world. I wanted the people who care for those with eating disorders to know they also are not alone. And I wanted to discover the resources available in my hometown of Geelong, to find out where my friend and her family could get help.
“Most of all, I wanted everyone to know the truth about eating disorders – that they don’t just affect adolescents girls, they are not a lifestyle choice or a bid for attention and that recovery is possible – no matter how old you are.”
Read Judy’s article, in www.rubymagazine.com.au, published by Adcell Group, here: Ruby Autumn 16 Eating Disorders
World Eating Disorders Action Day
I extend encouragement to Judy’s friend on her healing journey. Knowing someone cares can make the world of difference when experiencing an eating disorder. This is one of the important messages to share in all corners of the globe on the first-ever World Eating Disorders Action Day, on June 2. As Judy exemplifies, in writing about her friend, we can all act, we can each do something to help someone who is suffering.
Join me in supporting World Eating Disorders Action Day. Be sure to follow along on twitter @WorldEDDay and hashtag #WeDoAct, #WorldEDActionDay, @WorldEatingDisordersAction on Instagram and World Eating Disorders Action Dayon Facebook.
I have written nine books about eating disorders since my recovery (my “reconnection with true self”) from anorexia nervosa and other long term mental health challenges in 2006. In 2017, I graduated as a Doctor of Philosophy (Creative Writing). My contribution to the eating disorder field was recognised at the 2016 Academy for Eating Disorders International Conference in San Francisco where I was awarded the Meehan/Hartley Award for Public Service and Advocacy. I am currently a co-chair of the NEDC Steering Committee Evidence of Experience Group, a foundation steering committee member of the annual World Eating Disorders Action Day, and an Advisory Panel member for F.E.A.S.T.