As we enter our Christmas/Holiday era, it is SO important to stay aware of the wellbeing of both yourself and those around you. This time of the year can be abundantly challenging for individuals struggling with an eating disorder, hence I am so grateful to have owner/founder of Non for Profit Organisation 'Hide N Seek', Jaimee Krawitz spill the tea on the complex nature inherent to this issue, the power of language & shares tips on how to best support an individual struggling with an Eating Disorder...
Queen Jaimee has launched an e-book titled "The Language of Seeking Help*." This resource educates parents and caregivers supporting individuals with eating disorders. As the co-founder and CEO of "Hide N Seek," a newly established not-for-profit organisation, Jaimee is dedicated to assisting those caring for individuals with eating disorders. Her journey began at the age of 12 when she was diagnosed with an eating disorder, which fuelled her determination to become a registered counsellor. Jaimee currently works at a psychology practice, supporting her clients with a focus on mental well-being. Her passion includes empowering individuals facing similar challenges and advocating for changes in societal approaches to eating disorders.
*Ebook download linked at the conclusion of the blog x
How and why was Hide N Seek brought to life? Ethos/vision + goals...
At the age of 12, I personally struggled with an eating disorder, facing numerous challenges in effectively communicating my feelings to those around me. This deeply personal journey inspired me to pursue a career as a registered counsellor. Drawing upon my own experiences, I've worked at a psychology practice, utilising the language of empathy and understanding to support others. My dedication lies in empowering individuals, promoting mental well-being, and advocating for fundamental changes in the societal approach to eating disorders. Through Hide N Seek as well as “The Language of seeking help” resource ebook, I aim to spark an open conversation around eating disorders, raise awareness, and provide indispensable resources and support to those caring for individuals dealing with these challenges. My inspiration and dedication in compiling this e-book is to help individuals, parents and caregivers supporting a child or young person with an eating disorder learn how best to communicate with their loved ones and find the best ways to support them. My hope is that through my own lived experiences, this e-book can improve and change the condition of even one person or family’s life. Then it will all have been worth it.
What are some red flags/early warning signs to look out for regarding Eating Disorders?
Children/young people who experience eating disorders are not always aware that their behaviour is detrimental. They often make efforts to hide their problematic behaviour and/or rationalise the behaviour. This is known as ‘anosognosia,’ a lack of ability to perceive the realities of one’s own condition. That is why this disorder is so challenging to treat and why families can find it so hard to support their loved ones. It is one of the only mental illnesses where an ambivalence to recovery or a lack of awareness to the severity of the illness is part of the illness. Recognising signs of eating disorders can be challenging as individuals often lack awareness of their condition. Look out for:
- Constant dieting, calorie counting, skipping meals
- Black-and-white thinking about exercise and food
- Sudden changes in food interests or rituals
- Sudden or rapid weight loss
- Disrupted menstrual cycles
- Fatigue and sleep disturbances
- Obsession with body shape, weight, or calorie counting
- Mood swings, irritability, or depression
‘Changing the language around eating disorders’ is the Hide N Seek slogan - we would love to hear more about the power of language around this topic.
At Hide N Seek, our motto 'Changing the language around eating disorders' signifies our commitment to reshaping conversations. Language shapes perceptions. Negative words fuel stigma and hinder seeking help, while supportive language fosters understanding and acceptance. We advocate for positive language that empowers, supports, and encourages seeking assistance. Through Hide N Seek, we aim to create an open conversation around eating disorders, foster awareness, and provide essential resources and support to those caring for individuals affected by eating disorders.
Approaching a friend or family member who is struggling with an eating disorder can be super daunting - what should and shouldn't we say to best support the individual?
Suggested conversation starters/sentences:
- “You do not seem to be yourself. I just wanted to check in.”
- “I have not heard much from you lately, so I just wanted to see how things are going.”
- “How can I support you?”
- “We always used to have lunch together. I feel like I have not seen you recently.”
5.“I have noticed you seem more tired and stressed out than usual.”
REMEMBER: The child/young person may not always be receptive to conversation. Sometimes just being there is all the support they need.
What not to do:
- Do not use language that suggests blame or wrongdoing
- Do not dominate the conversation
- Do not use manipulative or threatening statements that focus on you e.g., “Think about what you are doing to me”, or “If you loved me, you would eat properly”, or “It is easy. Just eat"
Christmas time can be incredibly tough and triggering - What is some advice you would give to an individual struggling with an eating disorder this holiday season?
Whilst prioritising the wellbeing of the struggling individual is pivotal - the impact on both family and friends can be equally as challenging …can you share a few hot tips on how to recognise and respond to situations that may arise?
What are your top resources that you would recommend to those struggling?
- Following the Butterfly Foundation resources
- Eating Disorder family Australia
- Inside out institute courses
Hide N Seek is excited to offer you an exclusive resource the "Language of Seeking Help" e-book compiled by our founder Jaimee Krawitz. This resource is tailored to empowering caregivers of individuals experiencing an eating disorder providing essential insights practical advice and the knowledge you need to effectively support your loved ones. By signing up to the Hide N Seek community you will receive the “Language of Seeking Help” ebook, delivered straight to your inbox.
Click Here to sign up xxx
Hide N Seek Instagram - @hidenseekfoundation
MERRY XMAS BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE - sending all the love & happiness your way <3
Please share your thoughts/feedback in the comments or via email firstname.lastname@example.org + Instagram @spilltheteaco_
LOTS OF LOVE,