Advertisement

How can I help a friend or family member deal with an eating disorder?

Brooke Randolph
Marriage & Family Therapy
If you suspect that a loved one may be suffering from disordered eating patterns or a distorted body image, broach the subject gently and with care, rather than judgment. It is important to provide a safe space in which your friend or family member can seek support. Eating disorders generally require specialized treatment. Remember that you cannot change your loved one or force him or her to change. Your role is simply to support and help him or her to find help as they are ready. This does not mean that you should allow your friend to endanger themselves. Involve adults, medical professionals, or police if necessary to save your friend's life.

Continue Learning about Eating Disorders

The Hazards of Hyping Super Thin
The Hazards of Hyping Super Thin
A woman walks into a doctor’s office with a carrot in her left ear, a stalk of celery in her right and an asparagus spear in each nostril. “Doc, what’...
Read More
Can I die from an eating disorder?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
Yes. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. There are severe me...
More Answers
What is the incidence rate for eating disorders?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
The incidence rate for specific types of eating disorders varies with the specific type of eating di...
More Answers
What's the Difference Between Overeating and Binge Eating Disorder?
What's the Difference Between Overeating and Binge Eating Disorder?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.