It can feel very overwhelming to feel that someone you care about may be struggling with an eating disorder, it is important to remember however that that help and treatment is available and recovery is always possible.
Try not to panic and remember - you are not alone.
First of all, it is important to remember that eating disorders are serious psychological illnesses and that no-one chooses to develop an eating disorder. An eating disorder is best understood as a coping mechanism for dealing with difficult emotions and feelings. As such, it is not something that the person can let go of easily, it can take time. Thinking about eating disorders in this way may help you as you talk with the person you are worried about. Eating disorders strive on silence and secrecy so it is very important that you do talk to the person that you are worried about. Denial is very common with people affected by eating disorders and they may not be aware that they have a problem, it is possible that the person may not feel happy about you bringing the subject up. Try and remind yourself that this denial is very much part of the illness.
Below are a few tips on approaching someone you are worried about:
Remember, you are not alone. Eating Disorders Association (N.I.) are here to support you and your loved one. Feel free to contact us at any time.
See our Leaflet – ‘Approaching Someone’ for more info.
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