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.

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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.