Publications – eating disorders

Now on bookshelves across the world including Canada, Australia, USA, UK…

‘Anorexia and Bulimia in the Family’ (pub 2004, John Wiley and Sons)

When my daughter, aged 23, told me she’s been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, binge-purge type, the words anorexia and bulimia were on the very edge of my vocabulary; I knew nothing at all about what they meant – either for the sufferer or for their family.

With no information or support, I tried to support Jay throughout the years when she struggled to beat these devastating illnesses which I now know affect the whole family as well as the person with the eating disorder.  During that time I searched without success for a practical book offering information and ideas of how to cope, what to avoid doing.  I found a few books by sufferers, some of whom had recovered, who told their own story; one or two by family members telling their own story; and a few by professionals.  But no practical information or support to help me help my daughter.

So after several years of searching during which I’d worked on the national EDA (now b-eat) telephone helpline, and the local NEEDS Scotland helpline, during which I’d talked to hundreds of other family members, after much reading and research, after watching my beloved Jay recover despite for a long time refusing professional help – I now know that denial of problems and such refusal is not uncommon in eating disorders as well as other compulsive/addictive problems – in the hope of offering help and support to others, I wrote the book I’d been looking for. 

Classed as ‘narrative non-fiction’, ‘Anorexia and Bulimia in the Family’ is a practical book for all carers, who work to offer support and 24-hour care to people with these eating disorders best.  Professor Janet Treasure (the new Maudsley Method) who has specialised in treating eating disorders for many years, as well as world-renowned research, wrote the Foreword.

Chapters include Tips, Techniques and Strategies, Coming Up for Air, Research Past and Present, Horrible Habits and Ghastly Games, Living with the Volcano, The Parents Dilemma… 

Review comments include –

‘This is a very powerful book.’   Dr Harry Millar, head of the North of Scotland Eating Disorders Network

So many of us are too beaten down, exhausted, or bitter to reach back to help others.  Your book is different also because of your personal dignity and respect for your daughter, and also your ability to keep your focus on what the caregiver needs to know.  You do not wallow in self-pity nor do you indulge in resentment or anger.

I love your orientation to this disease: you hate it but you strive to understand it.  You understand its power but refuse to become hopeless or helpless – nor let others believe they should either.  I like the practicality of your book.’   Laura Collins, author