Having an eating disorder affects more than just the sufferer. In most instances, relatives and close friends go through some of the same anxiety and negative emotions watching someone deal with any form of mental or physical issues. In some cases, you may take it upon yourself to reach out to them and offer support.
While you may have the greatest intention to assist them, it’s important that you approach your loved one correctly for the best results. Here are some tips that allow you to effectively help someone dealing with an eating disorder.
One of the best things you can do when looking to help someone with an eating disorder is to educate yourself. Unfortunately, a large percentage of people who try to give interventions to their loved ones don’t know enough about them. To avoid misrepresenting their condition or yourself, always do your research on what they’re going through. This makes it easier to find the perfect eating disorder treatment option for them. Receiving the help of a professional will make it easier for you to understand what steps can be taken for your loved one.
Come From a Compassionate Place
Once you’ve done enough research, you’ll want to make sure you approach your loved one with compassion. A great technique is to approach them in a way you’d appreciate being spoken to. Also, it’s best to speak with them at a time when they’d be under the least amount of stress. Make them feel comfortable enough to speak openly and honestly with you.
Giving someone an ear is great, but it’s also good to give someone validation. Something as simple as repeating the feelings they express to you can go a long way. When you do this, you take away some of the negative emotions they have like shame and guilt, which also makes them more likely to get better.
Be Ready to Take Action
Part of being the support system to someone dealing with an eating disorder means being ready to act on your principles. If your relative communicates that they’re ready to work on their condition, you should’ve already researched professional help for them prior to confronting them.
Regardless of how you personally feel about eating disorders, you have to put those feelings to the side to help the person you love. How you choose to support someone can be the difference between them shutting down and getting the help they need to get better.