Eating disorders affect not only the individual suffering from it, but it also affects the people around them. As friends, family and parents we do want to help them but often do not know the correct way of doing it and somewhere we hurt the feeling of the person suffering from it that leads to more anger, avoidance, denial and frustration in them.
Even though there is no correct or exact way to help someone overcome eating disorders, but with little correct approach depending on the individual nature and behavior we can help such individuals –
Prepare Yourself –
The very first thing that you should do before approaching someone with eating disorder is prepare yourself by educating as much possible on eating disorders. The person suffering from eating disorders might be through lots of anxiety, embarrassment, shame, denial and guilt or might not know about their disorder.
However, it is vital to consider all the above mentioned things and prepare accordingly to deal with the feeling of denial and anger in the person suffering from it. Denying or getting angry on the suggestions to deal with eating disorder doesn’t mean the problem does not exist.
Offer Caring Environment –
If any of your family member or friend is suffering from eating disorder, then a caring environment is the most crucial thing that you should offer to them, which will support your next step of calm and open conversation of the problem. You should keep this in mind that you are not broaching the conversation or the topic of eating disorders when the individual suffering from it is around the food or some similar situation as it might make them emotional, frustrated or angry.
Correct Language –
Yes, you read it correct, a correct language is very essential for making your conversation work and same applies with the person suffering from such disorders. Make them feel that you care lot about them and their health and seriously you want to help them in overcoming their problem at every healing step or process. Here are some of the tips to select correct language, if you want someone from your family or friends to overcome eating disorder –
Always start your conversation with the word “I”, for example; “I am really worried about you” or “I really care for you” etc.
Before starting with the conversation, first make the individual comfortable to get open with you about their disorder.
Try to encourage them to speck on their own about how they feel instead of what you feel about their disorder. It will boost their confidence in you and by knowing their feeling you can help them much effectively.
Offer them sufficient time get open about their feeling about their disorder. Do not hurry to start the conversation on your own as it might ruin their mood and can hurt their feeling.
Try to listen patiently about the feeling of the individual suffering from such disorder and instead of criticizing them directly on their problem offer them your support and some solution to overcome the problem. It will make them motivated to work on your ideas.
If the problem is very acute, then try to convince them to take help of an expert by explaining the benefits of it.
Always keep this in mind the person suffering from such disorder need your care and support the most to overcome their disorder successfully.
HashWrite are the authors of the newly released Children’s fiction, The Chemical Drones. HashWrite is the pen name of an India-based author/artist duo Preeta Chandran and Pankaj Kumar Saxena. They are the authors of two art-poetry books published in 2013 and 2018 respectively. As guest speakers at the Kolkata International Book Festival, they have been featured on one of the world’s largest television networks, Doordarshan. Preeta has appeared in numerous Indian and international anthologies and won awards from literary journals such as Muse India. She has also won a prize in the haiku contest of Hindustan Times Brunch. Pankaj has held prominence in exhibitions across the world. His work has been written about in leading dailies. Both of them have worked as former Operations Leaders at a global conglomerate and currently run a digital media company.