If you know someone with an eating disorder, it can be difficult to know what to say or do. The situation is complicated, and the person may struggle to express their feelings.
Eating disorders are incredibly complex mental health conditions: they are not simply about food, and they are not caused by a single factor like low self-esteem or family issues. They are characterized by disordered eating behaviors that can have long-term effects on physical and mental health.
Here are some key ways you can help someone you know who has an eating disorder.
- Educate yourself about eating disorders: The more you understand about eating disorders, the better equipped you will be to support your friend or loved one who is suffering from one. When it comes to supporting someone with an eating disorder, knowledge is power.
- Make sure they know you care: Your presence in their life makes a difference. Take time to connect with your loved one and let them know you’re concerned for them. If they aren’t ready or willing to accept your help, continue to reach out and let them know that you’re available when they decide they want to get better.
- Talk about your concerns. This is not always easy because people with eating disorders are in denial about their illness and may get angry or defensive when confronted. Try not to take this personally and bring up your concerns in a calm manner, using “I” statements (for example: “I feel worried about you when I see you skipping meals”).
- Be supportive and encouraging. You want to make sure the person knows that you care about them and are there for them no matter what they decide to do. This can be done through positive comments such as “I’m proud of you for reaching out,” or “You’re doing great.”
Tiesha loves to share her passion for everything that’s beautiful in this world. Apart from writing on her beauty blog and running her own beauty channel on Youtube, she also enjoys traveling and photography. Tiesha covers various stories on the website.