I know I'm late on this topic, but I as an ED patient (now in recovery after 4 long years) turned nursing student, a few things I would have liked the nursing staff to know on the psych unit I was hospitalized on multiple times:
1. As stated by other posters, I am a very intelligent person whose illness forces me to manipulate you to prevent me from eating. I don't enjoy this any more than you do, but still, NEVER let your guard down around me.
2. In a secret part of me I may never tell you about, I am grateful someone has taken over my life which, though I may swear otherwise, is completely out of control.
3. You may not understand my complex need to not eat. That's totally fine. What goes a long way is attempting to understand, with active listening. Being ignored and hushing up my feelings contributed greatly to me getting sick in the first place. When my symptoms flare up, I am trying to communicate what I can't say in words. Don't ask me, "Why won't you eat?" Instead, ask, "What do you want to say to me right now?"
4. Again, you may not see it right away. But being in the hospital may be the first real support I've gotten in a long, long time. People finally "get" me, and I don't have to constantly keep up this facade of being fine while my mental, physical, social, and spiritual health slowly but surely degrade. It was, and still is, the best thing that could have been done for me, though I appeared to fight and kick the whole time.
Thanks to the psych nurses who cared for me until I could get well enough to help others like me