If you have a loved one or a friend suffering from an eating disorder there’s no doubt you want to help them. I know when I was struggling with this as a pre-teen it was tough. You don’t think anyone cares. They do. I was so lucky to have friends who saw something was wrong and they were there for me.
If you know someone who’s struggling with any form of eating disorder. Here are some ways you can help them.
1. Please be patient with them. They didn’t get to this place overnight. It’s tough. They have a voice inside telling them something completely different than you are.
2. Talk to them. Don’t be confrontational about it. Tell them you’re concerned for them.
3. Pray for them!
4. Be caring, but be firm. Caring about your friend does not mean being manipulated by them. Your friend must be responsible for their actions and the consequences of those actions. Avoid making rules, promises, or expectations that you cannot or will not uphold. For example, “I promise not to tell anyone.” Or, “If you do this one more time, I’ll never talk to you again.”
5. Encourage them to seek professional help. They will more than likely resist at first. Offer to take them if they would be okay with this.
6. Be prepared for negative reactions. Some eating disorder sufferers are glad that someone has noticed they are struggling. Others respond differently. Some may become angry and hostile, insisting that you are the one with the problem. Others may brush off your concerns or minimize potential dangers. Both of these responses are normal. Reiterate your concerns, let them know you care and leave the conversation open.
These are a few things you can do for someone suffering from an eating disorder. There are some more ideas of course. I got some of these straight from the National Eating Disorder website.
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 Indiana with her loving husband and four wonderful children, dog and three cats. She’s addicted to knitting and coffee.