Eating disorders can disrupt someone’s life in a variety of ways, leading to dangerous consequences for the individual’s mental and physical well-being. However, there are ways to help a patient who has an eating disorder that can include compulsive eating, bulimic behaviors or the deadly dieting that is involved in anorexia nervosa. Here are several tips for helping a patient who has an eating disorder.
An individual with an eating disorder needs information about the condition, helping the person to seek help from professionals. In some cases, the individual who engages in starvation or overeating is unaware that there are other people with the same issues. In addition, the individual may not understand the dangers involved with an eating disorder that can alter the body’s digestive tract or the health of the bones of the body.
An eating disorder is typically a compulsive or addictive behavior that a patient cannot control. The patient needs compassionate understanding to overcome the issues rather than harsh judgment that makes the individual feel worse. Telling the individual to snap out of the problem or forcing the person to eat will not solve the issues that are associated with an eating disorder.
Call a Specialized Clinic for Help
To learn more about the treatment options for eating disorders, you should contact a specialized clinic for help. There are different levels of care for eating disorders, depending on the severity of the condition along with the health of the patient. Some individuals need inpatient treatment for an eating disorder because the person’s health is declining rapidly, but other patients may prefer outpatient therapies instead.
Aftercare Therapy Services
After intensive therapeutic treatments for an eating disorder, a patient must continue with aftercare services. An important aspect of aftercare is having the emotional support of friends and relatives. The patient may need to arrange an aftercare support team, and you can help the individual with this process.
Notice How You Talk Around a Patient
It is important to avoid making critical remarks about your own weight, body or food while you are associating with a patient who has an eating disorder. Someone with an eating disorder can become triggered by another individual’s comments about dieting or weight problems.
Listening During a Crisis
If you have a friend with an eating disorder, then the individual may have a crisis concerning the condition. When your friend can turn to you for help, it can prevent an episode of binge eating or starvation.