The best way forward depends on many factors, including your relationship with the person, their age, personality and the family. Professional help is usually to be recommended as denial on the part of the individual is common within eating disorders.
Trust your instinct and don’t give in to denial – ‘tough love’ is often required. The sooner you act and the individual receives eating disorder treatment, the easier it will be for them to recover.
Express your concern so that the individual knows you are worried.
With young people, contact their school and share your concerns.
Seek professional help and encourage the individual to book an appointment with their GP.
Contact Breathe eating disorder therapy service for advice for individuals based throughout Lancashire, Preston, Blackpool, Chorley, Ormskirk and Lancaster.
Download the Breathe Referral Form from this site for the individual to take to their GP.
Contact Breathe directly for more information.
Educate yourself as much as possible – see the Links and Useful info section on this site.
Be there to listen and offer support.
Avoid discussing the individuals, your own, or other people’s weight/food intake.
Be patient, remember that the person is ill and that recovery will take time.
Praise progress/positive changes.
Avoid force feeding or depriving the individual of food, as this approach will not address their guilt or solve the problem.
Make meal times as relaxed as possible.
If you feel overwhelmed, take a break and treat yourself to alleviate the stress.
Confide in a friend/partner for support.
‘See’ the individual, not just the illness and express your love regularly.
Attend S.E.E.D carer’s advice and information clinic. Visit www.lancashireseed.btik.com for further details.