There were some things that drove me nuts when I was battling my eating disorder as a pre-teen and some as a teen. Okay, so truthfully, I still struggle with it every day, even though I don’t starve myself anymore.
Here are seven things not to say to someone struggling with an eating disorder
1. Anything that focuses on food. You know like family and friends who say you should try and eat this. Oh, try to eat more” to someone with anorexia, or telling someone who binge eats or purges to simply exercise more self-control. But it’s not that simple,
2. You don’t look like you have an eating disorder. Don’t ever say this to someone who is struggling with this. There’s not one certain way that someone is to look who’s going through this. Ever.
3. Just stop throwing up. It’s not that simple for someone who’s struggling with Bulimia to just stop making themselves get sick after eating. If a person with anorexia or bulimia struggles with self-induced vomiting, they likely want to stop. Asking them why they won’t stop only serves to increase the amount of shame and guilt that they likely are already experiencing. Unfortunately, shame and guilt (and other negative or difficult emotions) can be triggers for future binge and purge episodes.
4. You’re doing this for attention. How about no! That’s not what’s going on. This is just not right to say to the person. I know for a fact that I wasn’t even thinking that. It was like a veil on my eyes and mind.
5. Pull yourself together. Seriously, why would you say this to someone who’s dealing with a mental illness? That’s what eating disorders are. Don’t ever say this to them! IF it was that simple, then they wouldn’t be suffering from this, but it’s not.
6. Selfish. This kind of goes with attention but is also different. They’re not being selfish. They can’t help what they’re doing. Selfish doesn’t even come into play with this. At. All. It’s like someone else is in control of your mind.
7. Just eat. I can’t even count how many times someone said this to me. I really wanted to smack them upside the head. It wasn’t that easy to eat. My brain wouldn’t let me! Believe me, I’d loved to have and I couldn’t.
Allyson is a published author, blogger, wife and mom to 4 kids. Three of her children are on the autism spectrum. She suffers from anxiety and panic attacks. On her blog you can find her writing about being an author, her faith and family. She resides in Missouri with her loving husband and four wonderful children, and three cats. She’s addicted to knitting and coffee.