Essay On The Influence Of Individuals Eating Disorder On Caregiver

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The Influence of Others’ Eating Disorder on Caregiver Significant research has been performed on the impact of eating disorders (ED), such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, on an individual’s well being. However, a noteworthy topic that has lacked examination is the impact of an ED on those who have relationships with the individual suffering from the ED; this impact primarily affects family members or close friends who are in the position as the caregiver or provider for the individual (Buser). Caregivers are prone to experiencing psychological distress (Perkins). Caring for an individual suffering from an ED can be as difficult as caring for someone who is experiencing a mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (Highet). …show more content…
Caregivers begin to experience both subjective and objective burden (Perkins). A caregiver begins to experience subjective burden when they begin to feel as though they are “carrying a heavy load.” One subjective burden caregivers experience is the sense that they are responsible for the successful treatment of the illness. They take on the burden of planning the meals for their family or creating daily routines, such as taking walks, in order to promote a healthy lifestyle. Alternatively, objective burdens are the disruptions in every day life of the caregiver. Many caregivers’ needs go unmet because they are preoccupied with caring for the sufferer (Perkins). Some caregivers go as far as canceling their plans, such as vacations, because they fear leaving the individual alone (Gilbert). Previous literature has found that caregivers respond in one of two ways: they become increasingly busy with activities in order to avoid the need to cope with the ED, or they give up all their leisure activities because of the emotional exhaustion (Gilbert). Many caregivers fear that the individual suffering from the ED will depend on them long-term, which may completely alter their commitment to leisure activities (Highet). Caregivers devote all of their time and energy to care for the individual suffering from the ED that they begin to become consumed by the illness and may even begin to be controlled by it (Highet). By sharing the burden of the ED with the individual, caregivers experience increased anxiety and stress which further hinders their emotional

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