Going online to tackle eating disorders

Relationships with food can be complex. Chat.lookingglassbc.com is a forum to discuss this and more. Photo courtesy of Stock Xchng

Relationships with food can be complex. Chat.lookingglassbc.com is a forum to discuss this and more. Photo courtesy of Stock Xchng

Eating disorders may be a private hell for many: victims of disordered eating often find themselves unable to talk freely to potential support networks for fear of divulging their shameful secrets. The resulting isolation may entrench the cycle.

That is why The Looking Glass Foundation for Eating Disorders is launching Chat.lookingglassbc.com, according to Karen Wall, Online Support Group Director and Coordinator.

Wall said the website is an easily accessible, online support group where people of all ages suffering from eating disorders can talk freely, behind a veil of anonymity.

“The site is for people to come together and support each other without fear of physical comparisons, preconceptions, or judgment,” Wall told The Link.

There are no “clinical” support figures, such as psychologists or counselors. Instead, the site focuses on facilitating conversations.

“[This site] enables people to not feel like they’re going through this alone,” said Wall.

According to Wall, an important feature of the chat is that it is available for both victims of eating disorders and their friends and family, who may be in search of information or feedback.

Users can also be at any stage in their eating disorder journey – from those in the throes of addiction, to others in recovery stages, added Wall.

Chat.lookingglassbc.com is a Canada-wide service for anyone aged 16 and over, but users can feel secure from total anonymity: profiles do not require real names, locations, or identifying features, and accounts can be deleted permanently, explained Wall in an interview with The Link.

Perhaps the most convenient part, however, is that conversations can take place day or night, and do not require a trip to a clinic.

The new site launches November 1, 2013 and can be found at Chat.lookingglassbc.com.

Many women and men suffer from eating disorders, and the problem can be exacerbated by school and financial stress.

If you’re suffering from an eating disorder, and need help, contact BCIT’s counselling services at 604-432-8608.

For more information on The Looking Glass Foundation for Eating Disorders, please go to http://www.lookingglassbc.com/.