man with eating disorder
man with eating disorder

A Guide to Caring for Loved One with an Eating Disorder

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Heaps of resources tell us how to check if a loved one is battling an eating disorder. This makes it easier for us to assess if someone we love shows signs like changes in behavior, mood, and energy, along with increasing weight concerns and control over food. Since it becomes more difficult to treat an eating disorder the longer it goes on, it is crucial that you get them the help they need at the soonest time possible.

What Causes Eating Disorders?

Experts claim the exact cause of such behavioral disorders is still unknown. However, some factors can play a huge role in one’s tendency to develop eating disorders. These can include the following:

  • Genetics. According to a study, genetics can play a role in one’s increasing vulnerability to eating disorders. Experts are still cracking the code to gain enough evidence to treat the genetic component related to eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.
  • Biology. Changes in one’s brain chemicals can play a role in the development of eating disorders. For instance, low dopamine can cause anorexia. Recovered women who used to battle anorexia also show abnormal levels of serotonin.
  • Emotional and psychological health. One’s self-esteem, narcissistic tendency, and impulsive behavior can contribute to their eating disorder. The same goes for people with troubled relationships.

Must-dos When Supporting a Loved One’s Eating Disorder Recovery

Knowing what you can do to support your loved ones is the best way to give them the necessary support they need. For starters, you want to keep the following tips in mind.

Educate Yourself

You must educate yourself better on the kind of eating disorder your loved one has. This is since some eating disorders can have the same symptoms. The more you understand their condition, the easier it will be for you to help them.

For instance, if your loved one has the tendency to eat huge meals that feels out of control, they might have a binge-eating disorder. You can help them consult with a professional so that they can learn more about the treatment options for binge eating. The right intervention will help them create a healthier relationship towards food.

Be Sensitive When Asking Questions

People with eating disorders often find it hard to open up about their condition. The last thing you want is to make them feel embarrassed. Be polite when asking questions and in expressing your concerns.

Be sure to listen to them and never share their disorder with anyone without their permission. Remember that this is their own battle. Putting them in the spotlight can only drive them deeper into depression.

eating disorder

Avoid Discussing Other People’s Weight, Diet, or Image

One thing you don’t want to talk about in front of someone recovering from an eating disorder is your weight, other people’s body, or dieting. These are sensitive topics that make people with eating disorders more vulnerable. The last thing you want is to make them feel insecure in their own image.

Avoid casually talking about your own weight. Talk about positive things without commenting on other people’s diets. Refrain from sailing through subtle but insidious topics which can only make your loved one more conscious about their own weight and appearance.

Be More Involved in Their Treatment

Recovering from an eating disorder can be a long journey. Chances of relapse increase the longer your loved one is battling their disorder. You need to be one of the people they can trust and rely on during this challenging journey.

You want to give your loved one a message of love and acceptance. Your support and kindness go a long way in helping them on their road to recovery. You want to be their support and not an enabler of their eating disorder.

Get Yourself Your Own Outlet

Even caregivers need someone they can rely on. To take care of yourself, you need to have someone to freely speak to about your own experiences as a caregiver and support. You can consider joining a support group and talk to a pro so you can have an expert as your outlet.

Never Give Up Hope

Fighting an eating disorder can be difficult. But remember that many people managed to enjoy a full recovery. Many celebrities won against eating disorders with the help of their loved ones and professionals, which means your loved one can recover fully with your help.

This might be a difficult time for you and your loved one suffering from an eating disorder. Use this time wisely to educate yourself about their condition and giving them the support they need. Your loved one needs you now more than ever, so make sure you know your must-dos and what to avoid.

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