According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 percent of people have an eating disorder. Eating disorders can cause several emotional and physical problems. Fortunately, there is help available. There are many ways that you can help a friend who has an eating disorder.

Educate Yourself About Eating Disorders

It can be difficult for someone who does not have an eating disorder to understand what someone is going through. That is why it is a good idea for you to do research on eating disorders. The National Institute of Mental Health and National Eating Disorders Association are two organizations that provide helpful information about eating disorders. If you understand what an eating disorder does to someone, then it will be a lot easier for you to support your friend.

Listen to Them

Many people who have an eating disorder feel as though they are alone. They want someone to talk to. They are not necessarily looking for someone to solve a problem. They just want someone to listen to. Being a good listener and not judging them is a great way to be a supportive friend.

Discuss Treatment Options for Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can cause one to become ill and frail. That is why it is important to discuss the treatment options for eating disorders. You cannot make someone get treatment, but it is important for you to let them know that help is available. Show your friend that you truly care. You should also offer ways to help them get the treatment that they need. For example, if they are worried about childcare, then you can offer to watch their kids while they are the treatment center.

Set a Good Example

People need good role models. There are several ways that you can set a good example for your friend. You will need to be mindful about the comments you make about your own body. You should also avoid making negative remarks about other people’s bodies. You should tell your friend about the qualities you like about them.

It can be difficult to watch a friend struggle with an eating disorder. However, you can help them by educating yourself about eating disorders. You will also need to be there to listen and support them. Additionally, you will need to discuss the treatment options that are available for eating disorders and setting a good example.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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