Addiction and Eating Disorders Boston MA
Helping a friend overcome an eating disorder is no easy task. The dangerous disease stems from physical insecurities that can be difficult to confront without making the individual feel further discomfort. People with eating disorders often suffer in silence; some are even unaware of the problem. Naturally, loved ones are going to feel the need to step in and have an intervention, but most of these strategies are too aggressive to make any positive headway. It is important to remember that recovery cannot be forced. This does not mean you are helpless, though. There are ways in which to ease and encourage the recovery process without being overbearing.
- Educate Yourself- One of the best things you can do for your loved one is to try and understand what is happening. Ask questions and be prepared to listen with your full attention. Visit websites and blogs to immerse yourself with the knowledge that a textbook cannot provide.
- Encourage Safe and Healthy Choices- There is a fine line between being helpful and being forceful. Do not force healthy food upon your friends; instead, be readily available to encourage them when they make these decisions on their own. For example, if your friend wants to make hummus, offer to go shopping with them and help with the preparation process.
- Be the Fresh Perspective- suggest you do a fun activity together such as take a bike ride. Show them exercise can be fun and not a form of self-punishment. If you can make working out a fun social activity, it could change the way they view healthy habits.
- Do Not Compliment Weight Loss- This just adds fuel to the fire. If these changes are too extreme though, you must convey your concerns. When you do this, focus on your relationship and feelings. Stay away from talk about body shape.
- Be Cognizant of Your Own Emotions- Staying mindful of your emotions will keep you from projecting your frustrations on your loved one. An eating disorder is not something they can easily control, you must remain aware of this. Talk to a third party if you feel you are too drained to be supportive.
- Remember, there is no Quick Fix- Encourage the journey and reach out, but not push them down the path. You can be a catalyst for change by patiently extending your hand every day. By understanding the strength in your relationship, you can be a powerful guiding light.
If a friend or family member is suffering from an eating disorder, there is help. Call Addictions and Eating Disorders Boston Drug Rehab at 617-336-0107 to learn more about the programs and centers available.