It is a common belief that parents or families can cause eating disorders with the way they interact with kids or their parenting styles. While this a universal belief, it is not true that they contribute to the onset of anorexia or bulimia. In fact, research suggests that they play a major role in the recovery process of those with eating disorders.
Genes Play a Role
There is no proof that parenting styles can contribute to eating disorders, but there is evidence showing that genes may play a part. It is noted that those who have family members with eating disorders are at risk for developing the illness too. This is not attributed to family environment or behavior, as genetics also play a role in other diseases.
No Single Definite Cause
There is no single cause of eating disorders, as they can be through a combination of genetic, biological, social, and psychological factors. They are also more than just about extreme diet and exercise regime or wanting to fit in smaller clothes or have a model-like body. Sufferers experience disturbances in thoughts about food, weight, and body shape.
The Role of Parents
The truth is, both families and friends can offer support and care, which are vital in the recovery process. Treatment plans or managing of the disorders may include parent involvement, from the first stage of the treatment to providing continued support in recovery. Research shows that that family-based methods can be effective in the treatment of anorexia nervosa.
Experiencing the Effects
It is important to note the sufferers are not the only ones experiencing the effects or eating disorders. Family, friends, and support networks are affected too. Some may feel confused on how to offer help, while others feel extremely worried about the physical and psychological changes that their loved one might experience.
It is normal for families and loved ones to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, or depressed that they cannot fix some things. But in most cases, but they are an essential part of the recovery process by offering a safe environment for recovery, seeking treatment options, providing emotional support, and many others.