Watching a friend self- destruct is never easy. It is even harder when you know that they need eating disorder rehab but you can’t force them to go. The only way for them to get professional treatment if they are over the age of 18 is to go voluntarily. As much as you wish you could force them to go, you cannot. There are, however, things you can do to help them. Staying by their side and continuing to be a friend may eventually get them to come around and realize that they do in fact need help.
What to Look for When You Think A Friend Has an Eating Disorder
It is important to know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder so that you don’t wrongly believe someone is struggling when they are not. For example, not every skinny person has an eating disorder. Some people are naturally that way, and they can feel like their body is being shamed if it is assumed that they suffer from an eating disorder. Weight alone should not be a deciding factor. The same goes with people who are overweight. People might wrongly assume that they don’t have an eating disorder even if they do. It is important to be vigilant about other symptoms.
It is also important to know that eating disorders don’t discriminate. They can affect men, women, children, or any group. A person can seem okay on the outside while they are suffering on the inside.
So, how can you determine if someone has an eating disorder? Here are a few common symptoms:
- They are overly critical about their body.
- They restrict calories and skip meals.
- They go to the bathroom and purge right after eating a meal.
- They are unhealthily obsessed with achieving a particular body type.
- They are becoming weak and develop other health issues typical of someone with an eating disorder.
- They are withdrawn and no longer participate in activities they used to enjoy.
- They go on food binges followed by a period of purging.
If a friend of yours has one or more of these symptoms, they may have an eating disorder. Helping them is all in your approach.
Helping Someone Who Needs Eating Disorder Rehab
Many people in America suffer from eating disorders, but sadly only a fraction of them actually get help for it. Eating disorder rehab is key to a successful recovery and returning to a healthy lifestyle. It isn’t easy to get someone to agree to go to eating disorder rehab right away, but there are certainly things you can do to help push them in the right direction.
As a friend, it is important to remain a friend. Don’t talk behind your friend’s back or make them feel alienated. Eating disorders often coincide with mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Feeling abandoned will only make them feel worse. What you can do is talk to them with an open mind about the situation to gauge whether or not they are receptive. If they are, wonderful. You may be able to help them see that they need treatment and help is available. If they are in denial, you need to resist getting frustrated and keep encouraging them to go in the right direction.
It isn’t easy to watch a friend hurt themselves or suffer from distress. Eating disorders do both. It is important to always keep a calm and rational mindset around them so that they know they can trust and rely on you. If you are deeply concerned for their health, it may be a good idea to speak to someone else that you trust. For example, you may want to talk to their parents or a sibling who you know will have their best intentions in mind. Together, you can come up with a plan of approach so that you can help your friend.
Interventions can be a good option for someone. The goal is to ultimately make them see and understand that they need eating disorder rehab. Interventions should be planned out and thoughtful instead of haphazardly thrown together. No matter what you decide, being supportive is always key. Make sure your friend continues to feel loved and valued and keep encouraging them to get the help they need. If you need more information about eating disorder rehab, call Willow Place for Women today at 1-888-651-4212.