Anorexia and Bulimia in the Family: One Parent's Practical Guide to Recovery

By Grá Inne Smith | Go to book overview

17
Pathways to
professionals

A chapter for professionals and carers
working together

First steps — GPs

The first step in finding professional help in any illness is usually a visit to a general practitioner. Unfortunately:

GPs often miss eating disorders in their patients — because the patient may not ask directly for help.

(Dr Deborah Waller, GP, personal contact)

Eating Disorders Association (EDA) estimates that in an average GP practice there will be 1–2 patients with anorexia nervosa, 18 with bulimia nervosa; between 5 and 10% of young women attending surgery will have eating disorders and in 50% of cases the GP will be unaware of it:

The problem for GPs is not what to ask but when and how. Many may not “see” what is being presented or may too readily be complicit with the ambivalence that a sufferer may present. It is easy then not to take seriously enough what may be the early stages of an eating disorder and miss the opportunity to help. The first task is to take seriously what is being said.

(Dr Robert Mayer, GP, personal contact)

-147-

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