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Eating disorders: Quebecers ‘terrified of the holiday season’

Eating disorders: Quebecers ‘terrified of the holiday season’

“Our patients are not only anxious, they are obsessed and afraid of the holiday season,” says the doctor specializing in psychiatry at CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS.

TCA is the deadliest mental health disorder in Quebec. Almost one in ten people will have to fight this “dangerous disease that should not be neglected” during their lifetime.

Dr. Boyle has been running a clinic since 2016 that allows thousands of people, mostly women, to undertake a 12-week treatment with the ultimate goal of freeing them from their food obsessions.

However, these people sometimes try to avoid holiday gatherings, where food is in abundance, explains Mylène Lefebvre, psychologist at the TCA Clinic of the CIUSSS de l’Estri-CHUS.

“It’s something that scares them,” Dr. Boyle adds. “They fear violating their eating rules or losing control over food.”

What do I say to someone who has ED?

It is indeed possible that someone close to us is currently suffering from TCA, Ms. Lefebvre confirms. So it’s important not to comment on a loved one’s physical appearance during the holidays, but instead ask how that person is doing.

For her part, social worker Sarah Maud Tanguay recommends that residents provide support to the person “without focusing” on erectile dysfunction and weight.

According to Ms. Tanguay, many people suffer from TCA without really realizing it.

“It’s not because you don’t meet the standards that we see in the movies, it’s not that,” she concluded.

Watch Alexandra Barry’s report in the video.