This is Part 2 of my Eating Disorder Segment. See Part 1 here: Part 1
Eating Disorders – Part 2 – How to Help a Friend with an Eating Disorder
– Educate yourself about eating disorders
– Talk when you are calm, rather than frustrated or emotional
– Be kind. It’s hard to come out and most people feel ashamed and have fears of criticism and rejection
– Realize that they will not change until they want to and that recovery is their responsibility, not yours
– Be supportive, caring and a good listener
– Talk about the advantages of recovery
– Agree that recovery is hard, but emphasize that many people have done it
– Don’t let the person’s identity be defined by an eating disorder
– Be a good role model around food
– Take notice of and emphasize their positive attributes and traits – and let them know that they are good enough
– Don’t assume you have all the answers. Ask your friend how you can be supportive.
– Don’t dwell on appearance or weight. Instead talk about health, relationships (withdrawal?), and mood.
– Never nag, beg, bribe, threaten or manipulate.
– Never criticize or shame. These tactics are cruel, and the person will withdraw.
– Don’t pry. Respect privacy.
– Don’t be a food monitor. You will create resentment and distance in the relationship.
– Don’t try to control. The person will withdraw and ultimately outwit you.
– Don’t get involved in endless conversations about weight, food and calories. That just makes matters worse.
As the same as Part 1, I wanted to make sure it wasn’t long, but even so; I hope it was helpful. This is the end of my Eating Disorder segment for the moment as I am going to move onto a different segment next. I will probably revisit this segment though.