Eating disorders present a variety of challenges. This is true both for the person dealing with one and their surrounding loved ones. As someone trying to support someone with an eating disorder, it’s challenging to figure out how to best care for them. Your role in anorexia support is not to try to solve their problem, nor is it to carry the full emotional burden yourself either. However, women struggling with anorexia need eating disorder support. As a close family member or friend, you are well-positioned to provide that. Find out the best way to provide anorexia support for women when you call The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® at 855.773.0614. Our disordered eating treatment program is here to help.
Providing Anorexia Support for Women
The first step is to educate yourself on eating disorder facts and the common signs of an eating disorder. Without a proper knowledge base, you may do more harm than good when you broach the subject or offer anorexia support. Understand that eating disorders are not choices. Instead, they are mental health disorders with biological influences. Sometimes an eating disorder, particularly anorexia, may start as a diet. In cases where an eating disorder develops, remember that your loved one had no plans to end up with an eating disorder, and shaming them for their past choices does no good.
If you are not sure that your loved one needs anorexia support, pay attention to the following indicators that point to the presence of an eating disorder:
- Excessive weight loss
- Mental preoccupation with food to the point it interferes with daily life
- No longer eating with others or experiencing extreme discomfort when eating in a group
- Avoiding social and work responsibilities to exercise
- Anxiety and self-esteem issues, driven by their view of their body
Offering Informed Anorexia Support
No matter how much research you do or how many facts you are equipped with, you may still feel nervous about broaching the subject. But you cannot lend anorexia support unless you are able to discuss the issue with your loved one. Do not do this during a meal. Mealtimes are challenging, anxiety-ridden experiences for someone with anorexia. Find a time and place unrelated to food to have an initial discussion.
Try not to be discouraged if they initially deny the presence of an eating disorder. Make sure they know you are a safe, non-judgmental person they can come to for help. Be compassionate and focus on listening if they do open up. Moreover, offer ways in which you can support them. That could look like being an accountability partner, helping them plan meals, or connecting them with professional help.
In situations where your loved one denies a problem, don’t be scared off or give up. Remember that an eating disorder is tied to mental health issues. Your loved one may not be able to see the situation honestly at first. Be persistent and don’t give up on them. Recognition that they need help may not happen overnight.
Connecting Your Loved One Eating Disorder Support at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®
You are not solely responsible for aiding your loved one. Connecting them to professional eating disorder support, such as the program at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®, should be a primary goal of engaging with them. Medical practitioners can properly assess symptoms, make an official diagnosis, and craft a treatment plan. Your support will be critical in making sure your loved one follows their treatment plan and attends appointments. Just remember you are not their treatment provider. Their ultimate progress or healing is not your burden to carry. Professional eating disorder support is widely available. Find the best options to connect your loved one with by reaching out to The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® at 855.773.0614 today.