As a mental illness treatment center in Boca, we know how tricky it can be to support a loved one with a physical or mental illness. Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia can destroy a person’s life and cause pain to those around them. We know it’s heartbreaking to watch a loved one suffer, so we’re sharing some practical ways to help someone with an eating disorder get the care they need and recover.
Before you can attempt to assist your friend, family member, or spouse recover from an eating disorder, you have to understand what the condition entails. Eating disorders include a range of psychological conditions related to unhealthy and disturbed eating behaviors and distressing thoughts and emotions. The most common signs of eating disorders include binge eating in secret, throwing up after meals, obsessing over calories, and following extreme diets. Eating disorders go beyond disrupted eating habits and are often byproducts of mental illness. These disorders are most common in women between the ages of 12 and 35 and affect several million people at any given time.1 The three main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. Of these three, anorexia is the most fatal, with a 10 percent death rate.2
Banyan Mental Health offers a variety of treatment methods that can help individuals who are struggling with eating disorders recover. Our methods promote recovery by addressing the emotional and psychological aspects of these conditions. Identifying and addressing any contributing factors is the best way of helping someone with an eating disorder.
If you’re concerned about someone, the number one thing you should always do is to encourage them to seek out treatment as quickly as possible. This increases their chances of recovery; however, there’s more to supporting someone with an eating disorder than just helping them find treatment. Below are some practical ways you can do your part in helping the person get better.
Learning how to help someone with an eating disorder takes time. It’s not just about what you should do, but also what you shouldn’t do. While the list is long, we hope that these tips can provide you with the proper guidance and direction you need to be there for your spouse, friend, or family member.