Can you give tips on how family members and friends can help people with eating disorders (Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating)? What can family members and friends do to help a person with an eating disorder?
Here are some things which family members and friends should bear in mind:
- By all means talk to the affected person, but do it in a kind way. Don't feel insulted if the person becomes angry. Don't accuse, avoid causing feelings of guilt, try to listen and understand.
- Show your affection, sympathy and understanding, especially in the difficult period when a person is beginning to come to grips with the problem.
- Show that you care, ask how the person is feeling.
- Don't demand the necessary changes in weight, but discuss the situation and listen to what the person with the eating disorder has to say.
- Suggest that the person get adequate therapy. Don't try to give more help than you have competence for.
- Don't let the sick person dominate, even if the family needs to take consideration. Just as the family of an alcoholic needs to accept not to have alcohol at home, the family of a person with an eating disorder needs to accept not to have tempting junk food at home.