Aggression & Violence
Aggression and violence is something that may occur pre, post and during meals, especially when the eating disorder is being challenged. It is normal to see some levels of anger and even aggression which may be a change to your loved ones usual presentation. Often this can be somewhat healthy, releasing emotions and feelings. Sometimes these can be related to the absolute destruction the eating disorder is causing your loved one’s life and anger that this has happened to them, the helplessness of not being able to fix it quickly or it may be more related to the eating disorder being challenged and the fear and frustration this can cause.
However violence or extremely destructive behaviour, although it may happen, is not acceptable. As a parent you will be able to use your judgement on when an eating disorder oversteps the mark. You can find more information about violence and eating disorders by clicking on the FEAST website and the Maudsley Parents website.
The quote below is from a Beat Young Ambassador who explains how it felt to have an eating disorder, how anger impacted them and how it felt to be angry. Often, anger and aggression is something that young people can feel guilty about as they recovery as it can often be a contrast to their usual self. It’s good to remember that being angry and frustrated at having developed an eating disorder and then trying to recovery from it, is normal. It is totally understandable to be angry.
“I didn’t want my eating disorder. I never chose to have this. This snuck into my life and swept everything away from my perfect little life so quickly. It came so fast and stayed so long. Anger and frustration was one of the hardest emotions I had to deal with. Anger can turn anybody into a violent monster. I had so much anger. It came in bursts, and I didn’t know how to deal with it. The monster that I would turn into scared me. I was violent and abusive. Everything that was against my nature. Anorexia made my relationship with my mum extremely intense. I can only admire the love that she held for me, her child, that helped her to endure the pain that I, and anorexia was putting her and the rest of her children through.”
Sarah, Beat Young Ambassador