How Can I Help A Family Member Or Friend With Anorexia Nervosa?Friday, March 16, 2012 - 14:54
Family members and friends of a person with anorexia nervosa can provide important help and support. Here are some suggestions:
- Learn about anorexia nervosa, including treatment options.
- Talk with the person about your concerns, including specific behaviors you have noticed.
- Encourage the person to talk with her or his health care provider or a mental health professional. Offer to go with the person to the appointment.
- If the person denies the problem or refuses to get professional help, suggest that he or she talk with another trusted adult, such as a family member, friend, or teacher.
- Exercise responsibility and authority in getting treatment if the person is a minor.
- Be understanding and patient, but firm. Dealing successfully with anorexia nervosa takes time.
- Do not blame yourself or the person with anorexia nervosa. It is not anyone's fault.
- Do not focus on or try to control the person's eating, weight, or appearance.
- Accept the person as he or she is, talk about feelings, and emphasize her or his strengths.
- Take care of your needs too. Consider attending a support group.