How to Help Someone with Anorexia | Eating Disorders
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How to Help Someone with Anorexia | Eating Disorders

August 17, 2019


Watching a friend or a loved one struggle
with Anorexia nervosa can make a person feel extremely helpless. And it can really be extremely
hard to know how best to approach that friend or loved one and be able to do anything or
say anything that’s going to be experienced as constructive. And there’s no guaranteed
blueprint as to how to do this effectively. One thing I can say is that, in general, probably
standing by and just allowing an eating disorder to go unacknowledged and just basically sort
of pretending it’s not there, probably in the long term is not a good strategy. That
really sort of can reinforce a person’s denial about seriousness of an illness that they’re
coping with. But struggling to find the right words and
the right language can be difficult. Anger can be a common piece of watching somebody
with an eating disorder deteriorate and figuring out how to leave an angry out of beginning
to bring up the eating the problem can be a challenge and something that I would sort
of encourage. That the most you can take an approach that is somewhat gentle that doesn’t
put a person too much on the defensive is an important piece of style that is likely
to be more successful. On the other hand, especially if you’re a parent and you’re really
taking a very central role in trying to guide your child or adolescent into treatment, being
firm about the need for treatment is equally important to not being too angry or putting
a child on the defensive. Certainly as a parent or a close loved one
to someone, there’s also many things to think about in terms of how you relate to a child
or adolescent, or loved one that has an eating problem. So that, for example, if you yourself
struggle with shape and weight concerns or have a relationship with your child, or adolescent,
or loved in which shape and weight critiques a part of the dialogue, you really want to
think about that and not have those type of critiques be part of the ongoing conversation.
They really can just serve to deepen and entrench the eating concern that the person that you’re
watching struggling with the eating disorder has. Ultimately, getting some help from a mental
health professional, like a family therapist, can be extremely helpful in trying to communicate
more directly with a person about an eating problem, figuring out neutral language to
use to help move a person towards treatment and through treatment in a constructive way
instead of in a destructive way

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I saw eating Disorder in the title. I'm not playing the video, but i do have an eating disorder cannabis helps so many different ways. Not only does it increase your appetite, but it allows you to feel comfortable in your own skin, you will realize you're not fat by going deep into your mind.

  2. Anorexia IS a medical condition, they feel 'fat' because they are ill. There's a differnce between being overweight and healthily dieting and being of a good weight yet seeing yourself as fat due to a medical condition which affects the mind. People can't help it.

  3. I have a friend with a eating disorder and she doesn't want help, she made me promise not to tell anybody, but I see her getting weaker and it has to stop how can I still make her recover ?

  4. Don't listen to your friends because they don't know what they're talking about go to your mom or dad about that.

  5. This is the most hardest things i ever had to deal with….My friend brings my self esteem down because im not skinny….she makes me feel as if im fat. She makes me feel so sad….What do I do? Not be her friend or do I just try to deal with it and act like it doesn't bother me?? because this has been bothering me and i dont know what to do about it 🙁

  6. I have anorexia. I told my friend Mae. Hoping that she would understand. But all she did was tell every one I knew. Now I'm known as the anorexic girl at school. Don't trust everyone when finding help.

  7. I'm scared for my friend. She told me and I don't know what to tell her I just said, "I like your old self not this." Was that a bad move?

  8. I have a problem. My best friend might be anorexic but is either in denial or doesn't know it. She is under weight for our age and she gets excited every time she loses weight. She thinks she's not beautiful and she also brings up how "fat" she is commonly. I'm pretty sure she has anorexia but I don't know how to approach her and tell her that she might be anorexic. What do I do?

  9. My best friend suddenly got hospitalized because she starved herself. I feel so so bad because I didn't notice. It just breaks my heart to see what happened to the healthiest and happiest girl I knew. Guess I'm gonna look out for a few tips now, well, I'm helpless

  10. My friend has anorexia and depression but I can't help. I need to help her before she does something bad.

  11. I'm getting better from anorexia and I have a friend who clearly has it too but won't do anything. I literally have no idea what to do because I worry that if I share any of my experiences then she'll get scared or will back away from help, especially since she has a really bad relationship with her family and our local clinic is a family clinic (this means you go in with your family, talk about it with them and doctors etc, it really works in the long run) and when I mentioned that I noticed she seemed less willing to go. I keep begging her to talk to a doctor or anyone who can help but she still thinks she's fat and wants to 'wait a little longer.' Please give me some advice because I'm so worried and I have no idea what to do anymore.. 🙁

  12. I've recently moved to a new school and I've only been going for 3 days. In this school is my old bff (our parents argued and are not friends so we aren't as close now but we are still friends). The first day for lunch she had one of those slushie drinks, and that's it. The next two days she had nothing for lunch or break. She's really skinny and I think she might be anorexic. My mum can't say anything to the parent because they don't talk and her mum wouldn't take anything on board (the argument was really bad, her mum wouldn't listen). Her dad is really nice so maybe I could tell him but idk if he would do anything. She's had problems with her knees and she never told us y and I was wondering if maybe this had to do with it? Advice pls x

  13. I know this Is really irrelevant but I have a weird dent in my chin I’ve always hated and thought I was ugly because of it I finally got over it and realized it had nothing to do with my real beauty(inner) but my friends keep bringing it up and now my hate for it is coming back. I cry a lot because of it,but these people actually are my real friends but every time they say something it takes a chip out of my self confidence.what do I do?

  14. My close friend recently told me that she is cutting herslef.Soon after she told me that she stopped eating.She has very low self esteem and is a little bit overweight for her age.She doesn't have an eating disorder yet but I know she could take it that far.We are comlepete opposites and I talk to her all the time about it.She says that she knows I am right but still doesn't want to listen.Our friendship is falling apart beacuse of it and I don't know what to do

  15. Hi I NEED ADVICE PLEASE So a mutual friend told me that my friend was anorexic and told me why… she was teased for her cheeks btw but she is the only one that that friend thinks know I and im afraid she might be suicidal

  16. Showing to an anorexic person what happens if you don't eat and what to do if you wanna lose weight is good? Or they will get angry?

  17. My very close friend isn’t eating and is self harming. She’s extremely unhealthy. I want to help her but her family is abusive and won’t get her help. She can’t get any professional help. I love her sm and want to help her

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