The National Association of Anorexia and Eating Disorders estimates that about 3.7 percent of American female population will develop anorexia nervosa in their lifetime. Additionally, it is estimated that 1 million in 10 million women are struggling with an eating disorder, whether it’s binge eating, anorexia, or bulimia at the moment. What is more worrying is that only a third of the people suffering from anorexia seek treatment and only 6 percent of those with bulimia get help.
With these worrying statistics, you can rest assured that you’re not alone if you are trying to get help for a loved one or a friend with an eating disorder. Here are 2 simple ways you can help someone with an eating disorder.
Talk to the person with an eating disorder
When talking to someone with an eating disorder, it is crucial to communicate how you feel in a non-confrontational, loving way. Remember that they can be very defensive and they can use the denial as their psychological defense. Have the conversation in a private setting and do not be quick to judge or criticize the person. Do not promise to keep their disorder a secret if it means not getting them the help they require.
Seek professional help
Giving support to your loved one is important and, as such, encouraging treatment will make things much better. Do not wait until it’s too late to get treatment. The longer an eating disorder is left undiagnosed and untreated, the harder it is to fully overcome the disorder. Eating Disorder Center of Denver recommends that you consult with a notable medical professional regarding treatments for binge eating, anorexia, and other disorders.
Eating disorders are treated through various ways such as nutritional counseling, individual and group therapy sessions, support groups, and residential treatment. Residential treatment is recommended for severe cases that include behavioural and physical problems.
Recovering from eating disorders take time and there are no miracle cures or quick fixes. When dealing with people suffering from these psychological conditions, it is essential to have compassion and patience.