About Laura Collins
I never thought I would become a full-time mental health activist, but during my daughter’s recovery from anorexia nervosa I was shaken by the lack of science-based information and support for caregivers of this disease. I remember, even in my despair, believing that it didn’t need to be that difficult and frightening to find good care.
In 2005, my book “Eating With Your Anorexic” was published by McGraw-Hill and was my humorous and sometimes angry account of our family’s story. I told the world that eating disorder treatment was still treating parents as, at best, unnecessary and, at worst, harmful despite so much evidence to the contrary. I thought I would write it and move on. To my surprise, I grew to love this work and eventually drew together many of the parents and friends I made while speaking out and created F.E.A.S.T. (Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders).
I said at that time: "I believe that parents seeking care for an eating disordered child deserve support and good information and the era of excluding and marginalizing parents in eating disorder care is coming to an end."
I am honored to be part of a growing international community of parents and activists who believe a parent movement is necessary to bring the eating disorder world both support and accountability. We need to ally with mental health advocates everywhere to improve public education and support for patients and their families!
Collins, L. (2010, March 14). About Laura Collins, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, August 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/eatingdisorderrecovery/2010/03/about-laura-collins
Author: Laura Collins
I just discovered your blog and have spent the last hour+ reading old posts. I want to thank you for this great information. You are a life-saver.
The bravest thing any person can do is be honest about who they are and what is going on. Without that we are vulnerable to whatever we hide, and we make our relationships dishonest. You deserve and NEED your family to know the truth and travel with you as you recover fully and move on to a truly mature relationship with yourself and your family.
Tell someone who loves you. Today. Please?
With hope and caring,
I am a teen and I am currently suffering from bulimia...I don't feel comfortable telling my parents about my problem, but I do want to recover. How do you stop yourself from binging and purging...My ED has got waaaayyyy out of hand...
Stephanie, I do too. I wish your family knew that - that all families knew that - but the illness tries so hard to keep you from letting them know. Families aren't perfect, but we so often really want to try and will step up when we understand what is happening.
I hope you let your family in. It is brave, but can be so healing for everyone.
I really wish I had a parent that was as active as you in my eating disorder recovery. Sometimes, while I appear to want to be left alone with it, I really wish someone would take an interest in it.
Your story is so very important for parents and the ED world to hear. Having parents step up for their children of ALL ages is so important. Your brave recovery is a beautiful and inspiring triumph!!
I am sorry to hear about your experience as it must have been very painful to see your daughter suffer and try and manage her recovery.
I suffered from anorexia for approximately 8 years and eventually received treatment from a program which strongly involved my family. I was 35 at the time and needed to move back home. Fortunately I had very good parental support otherwise I believe that I would not be here today. The program involved my parents quite heavily eg. to determine the meal plan, how to provide support and supervision to ensure that I stuck to the plan and regular family meetings. Essentially my parents were the cornerstone to my recovery as it was almost a hospital in the home set up.
Recovering from my illness has been the hardest thing I have had to contend with and although it is coming up to 4 years, I still believe that my body is repairing itself (I was very sick at the time). However, I am now at a healthy weight, enjoy my food and love to experience a wide range and variety of foods without fear of putting on weight - essentially I feel like I am the one making the decisions about my life not my disorder. I remember wondering if there would be a time in my life where I could live a day in peace and feel free of this burden and i can finally say that I can. The journey was long and painful but again it was with the support and involvement of my parents in the treatment plan that saved my life.
I hope that in the future I will be able to help others suffering from anorexia to help them move through their journey to recovery.