2 Things You Need To Know About Helping A Loved One With An Eating Disorder

Posted on: 8 June 2017

If someone you love suffers from an eating disorder it is very important to make sure that they get the proper treatment. There are so many people who misunderstand what an eating disorder really is, and because of this misinformation, the person with the serious illness never gets the help that they need. Here are some things that you need to know about eating disorders.

1. For Many, An Eating Disorder Is About Control

When you think of an eating disorder, you might think that the only thing the person wants is to be thin. You might think that the disorder is a problem with the individual's body image, but that is not always the case. Instead, for many, it is about control. If an individual feels like they don't have any control in their life, they might start controlling what they eat because it is the one thing that they have control over. For instance, if a child's parents are going through a divorce, you might start noticing the child being weird about food.

Thus, as the individual becomes more severe with the eating disorder, they find pride in knowing that they are thin, not only because they want to be thin, but because it means that they are very good at controlling something.

Understanding this changes the way you would treat the eating disorder. For example, if you try to force feed a person who uses food as a control issue, it would cause the person to only fight back harder. You can't make them feel like you are taking away the one thing they control. Instead, you still let them be in control, but teach them about food and let them choose to eat.

2. Long-Term Eating Disorders Can Cause Long-Term Health Issues

It is important to know that the longer the eating disorder lasts, the more serious the health problems to follow. Even though the individual may be thin, it doesn't mean that they don't have a lot of body fat. Some people who restrict food hold onto body fat as a survival means, and so they start losing muscle and bone mass. This can have serious lasting effects and can even mean organ damage in many cases. This is why it is important to get the individual treatment as soon as you recognize there is a problem. This will be the only way to avoid serious health issues down the road.

By understanding these things you can get your loved one the help that they need.  To learn more, contact a company like Reasons Eating Disorder Center