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Recent rise in eating disorders

Blog post written by Lynn Crilly, author of Hope with Eating Disorders.


Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, eating disorder cases have risen tremendously, especially in younger children. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health snapshot survey suggests in some parts of Great Britain doctors have seen a three or four-fold increase in cases compared to last year.

Eating disorders often stem from trauma, stress, anxiety and feeling out of control; the coronavirus pandemic has reinforced a lot of these negative emotions. Isolation from friends during school closures, exam cancellations, loss of extra-curricular activities like sport, and an increased use of social media could all be credited with the rise in those suffering. Sadly, reduced access to face-to-face therapy and support may have led to young people becoming severely ill by the time they were able to be seen by a professional.

As a mental health counsellor myself, I have also seen a rise in those relapsing from their recovery. The worry the beginning of the pandemic brought, with fears of food shortages, lack of face-to-face support and therapy, the dramatic change in people’s routine and the constant uncertainty have severely impacted those who were on a good recovery path prior to the pandemic.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, there is a lot of help and support online; the charity SANE have some wonderful services to guide you in the right direction for help and support – “Although our previous SANEline number cannot operate at the moment, you can leave a message on 07984 967 708 giving your first name and a contact number, and one of our professionals or senior volunteers will call you back as soon as practicable. You can also contact us, as before, through our Support Forum, Textcare and other services.”

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Five Questions with Lynn Crilly, author of Hope with Eating Disorders

Lynn Crilly with books

Lynn Crilly is an award-winning counsellor, author and mother of twin girls. After finding one of her twin daughters, Samantha, was struggling with anorexia nervosa and OCD, and having followed the conventional routes to no avail, Lynn took the decision to follow her gut instincts and rehabilitate Samantha herself. She subsequently developed her unique form of counselling to support sufferers and their families going through similar experiences. Lynn continues to work with families battling mental health issues every day at her clinic in Surrey. She recently released a second edition of her book, Hope with Eating Disorders. We sat down with Lynn to ask her five questions about the book…

What was the inspiration behind your book?

After the recovery of my own daughter, I was asked by many other families to write down my own experience and how I managed to support my daughter into recovery from Anorexia Nervosa. One friend suggested I write a book, and that is how the first Edition of Hope with Eating Disorders came around. It has been over 7 years since the release of the first edition and so much has changed with the knowledge and understanding of mental illness and especially eating disorders. It was time re-write the book with the new knowledge I had learnt both professionally and personally.

What was the most challenging part of writing the book?

When I started writing the second edition, I thought it would be a case of adding and taking away little bits here and there. When it actually got down to it, I hadn’t actually realised just HOW much everything has changed. The hardest part was actually that I had to pretty much re-write most of the book!

What has been the most satisfying part of the writing process?

Being able to share my new knowledge and message of Hope with the readers of my book.

Did anything surprise you while writing Hope with Eating Disorders?

The amount of support we received from professional in the field, contributors who have suffered with an eating disorder, families who have struggles, and many others. Everyone has always been so supportive, and without them, the book would not be as relatable and full of hope.

What sort of people would benefit most by reading your book?

Anyone who is affected by an eating disorder, the book is mainly aimed at carers, however, I pride my books on the fact they do not contain anything triggering, so anyone can read them. They are also useful for teachers and professionals as they can help in spotting signs and how to start a conversation.

To read more about Lynn’s work, go to her website here. You can purchase a copy of her book (either eBook or paperback), from our website  here