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How to Help Someone Who Has An Eating Disorder

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Eating disorders are scary. 

And they can sometimes be deadly. 

Here’s the thing. 

It’s estimated that as often as every 52 minutes, someone dies from a  complication arising from an eating disorder. 

They’re definitely no joke—and contrary to what many people might believe, they’re not ‘easy’ to just shrug off and forget about. 

But it’s also true that if you know someone who has an eating disorder, you may be able to help them with the problem. 

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to help someone who suffers from a mental illness like this—especially when you’re not sure what the signs are. 

However, it’s also true that there are a number of things that you can do to help truly make a difference. And in a recent CNN news report, 6 key tips were provided to help you do exactly that. 

Let’s get into it. 

1. Learn The Signs

Intervention is key when it comes to helping people who have an eating disorder. 

So do some research, and learn how to spot the signs before they become too dangerous. 

2. Share Your Concerns With The Person

You should schedule a time to talk to the person, and let them know some of the signs that you have noticed. Don’t be accusatory or judgemental. Communicate the things you’ve noticed using ‘I’ statements. 

3. Encourage The Person To Seek Help

People who suffer from eating disorders generally need professional help to overcome the illness. 

Therefore, it may be a good idea to share some resources with them to help them figure out how they can go about this process. 

4. Help To Remind Them About Why It’s So Important To Get Well

Tell this person that you love them and care for them. Remind them that they have loved ones and family members who care deeply for them. 

Remind them that they have a bright, positive, exciting future ahead of them, and that they have so much to gain by seeking help and getting better. 

5. Don’t Judge Them (Or Yourself)

When people suffer from eating disorders, they constantly feel like they are being compared to other people. 

Therefore, making judgments about them can be unhelpful. It can also be unhelpful to make statements about your own weight or eating habits, as these things can trigger them and can threaten to cause a relapse. 

6. Recognize The Full Picture

Generally speaking, when someone is suffering from an eating disorder, that’s only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of what they’re actually experiencing. 

They may also be going through problems in their life, career, friendships, relationships, etc. 

They may be stressed out, feel unsupported, feel unloved, etc. 

If you really want to help someone who’s facing an eating disorder, it’s really important to pursue a multi-faceted relationship with that person. 

This can help you to more fully understand their life and situation, and give you a better perspective into what’s actually going on—allowing you to offer better support and encouragement toward recovery.

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