Across the United Kingdom, approximately 1.25 million people struggle with an eating disorder.

If you have reason to believe that someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, it is not uncommon for you to want to support them and help them overcome their struggles.

Helping Someone With An Eating Disorder

However, helping someone with an eating disorder is not as straightforward as many imagine it to be.

If you are hoping to help someone with an eating disorder, we have outlined how you can do so here.

 

Signs Of An Eating Disorder

Before helping someone with an eating disorder, you must distinguish whether an eating disorder is indeed present.

Although many of the signs associated with eating disorders are psychological, as an eating disorder progresses and has a significant impact on an individual’s life, various physical and behavioural symptoms will surface.

Below, we have outlined some of the most common signs associated with an eating disorder.

  • –     Undereating
  • –     Overeating
  • –     Binge eating
  • –     Eating in secret
  • –     Evidence of self-harm
  • –     Counting and restricting calories
  • –     Keeping track of macronutrient intake such as carbohydrate and fat consumption
  • –     Becoming increasingly hesitant about eating around others
  • –     Regularly discussing perceived flaws in their appearance
  • –     Fluctuating mood swings
  • –     Sleeping more than usual and experiencing bouts of exhaustion
  • –     Complaining of headaches and dizziness

 

If you have observed any of the above signs in a loved one, friend or employee, an eating disorder is likely impairing their life.

 

3 Ways To Help Someone With An Eating Disorder

As you determine that an eating disorder is impairing an individual’s life, we would ask you to refrain from confronting them straight away.  Instead, we would firstly ask you to consider our 3 ways to help someone with an eating disorder.

 

  1. Gain An Understanding Of The Different Types Of Eating Disorder.

Helping someone with an eating disorder can be somewhat tricky, especially if you have little knowledge of the various types of eating disorders that can impair an individual’s life.

With this in mind, if you are hoping to help someone with an eating disorder, understanding the different types of eating disorders would be beneficial.

In doing so, you will have the opportunity to gauge the signs associated with a specific eating disorder and understand the behavioural patterns that come hand in hand.

Gaining an understanding of the different types of eating disorders will also enable you to determine the available help and support.

 

  1. Uncover The Professional Support That Is Available To Those Struggling With An Eating Disorder

Before helping someone with an eating disorder, we would highly recommend that you take the time to uncover the professional help and support that is available to those suffering.

Not only will doing so enable you to discuss and recommend treatment, but it will also provide you with the opportunity to ask any questions you may have surrounding how best to support an individual with an eating disorder.

Across the United Kingdom, various charities, such as BEAT, and rehabilitation centres such as our own, can provide you with guidance and determine the support that an individual may require to overcome their eating disorder.

As and when you are ready to uncover the support available for an eating disorder, we welcome you to contact us and discuss your observations with our team.

Upon doing so, we can help you understand the treatment that we can provide and ensure you are equipped with suitable guidance to help someone with an eating disorder.

 

  1. Recommend Seeking Treatment For An Eating Disorder

As your thoughts turn to helping someone with an eating disorder, another way that you can do so is by recommending that an individual seeks treatment.

When you are confident that an eating disorder is present, and you have sought advice and guidance from us, approaching your loved one, friend or employee to discuss the treatment that they can take advantage of to help them overcome their eating disorder is advisable.

However, as you do so, you must consider their feelings, show empathy and be willing to listen.

 

What Not To Do When Helping Someone With An Eating Disorder

Although you will always have your loved ones, friends or employee’s best interests at heart as you attempt to help them with an eating disorder, we would urge you to consider that eating disorders are mental health disorders.  With this in mind, we would encourage you not to do the following when helping someone with an eating disorder.

Do not attempt to force an individual to eat – This can often cause an eating disorder to become worse and could negatively affect your relationship with an individual.

Do not appear to be confrontational – If you have decided to talk to your loved one, friend or employee about their eating disorder, you must not appear confrontational.

Do not attempt to treat an individual struggling with an eating disorder yourself – If you have come to realise that an individual is struggling with an eating disorder, you must not attempt to treat them yourself.  Doing so could cause their eating disorder to become worse.  In turn, this could see further mental health disorders, such as depression, arise.

 

Contact Asana Lodge Today

If you have come to realise that a loved one, friend or even employee is struggling with an eating disorder, you will likely want to do everything in your power to support them.

In addition to providing you with support and guidance, we can determine whether your loved one, friend or employee would benefit from completing a rehabilitation programme at our centre.

Irrespective of whether you want to find out more about eating disorders, uncover additional tips to ensure that you can help someone with an eating disorder or refer a loved one for treatment, at Asana Lodge, we are on hand to help.

To find out more about our rehabilitation programmes and seek our advice, please feel free to contact our centre today.

 

Sources

https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/media-centre/eating-disorder-statistics

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