How an eating disorder can affect a family

Eating disorders can affect more people than just those who are suffering from them.

Whole families can find themselves under pressure when a partner, a child, or a brother or sister, stops eating.

It's also natural that friends and other relatives will be concerned when they see someone who they care about become ill.

Immediate family life can change, as parents or partners try to get their loved one to eat.

Even when someone does start to get treatment for their eating disorder, it still takes time for life to go back to normal. Sufferers need to keep to a strict calorie intake and may still need encouraging to eat. In some cases they are not allowed to exercise, which can impact on family activities, like going for walks or bike rides together.

Heart has spoken to a mum from Milton Keynes, whose 16-year-old daughter is currently getting treatment for Anorexia Nervosa.

She has asked to remain anonymous, but told us one way she coped was by dealing with all the practical sides of things, like preparing meals and weighing foods, which was easier than having to deal with the emotional side.

We started by asking her what the last few months have been like.