An eating disorder is a serious health condition that requires medical attention. Otherwise, the person suffering from this ordeal could end up with disastrous results.

The sad truth, however, is when we know someone who suffers from this condition, some of us tend to delay suggesting that they go straight to a treatment center perhaps because we think that their condition (for example, anorexia nervosa) is not serious enough to merit a trip to a medical facility.

Unfortunately, we do more damage than good this way because we believe that our way of helping is an effective method for dealing with this kind of situation.

Don’t force them to eat

One mistake people often make when helping someone with anorexia nervosa is to force them to eat. Of course, these individuals need to eat in order to regain their health, but forcing them to do that will only push them further away from getting healthier.

The best way to help them is to show them that you care about them and that you’re willing to do anything to help them get back on track.

Discuss seeking professional help

There’s only much you could do to help someone with this condition, and eventually your friend or family member will have to seek professional help at anorexia nervosa treatment centers to restore their health. Don’t hesitate to talk to your loved one about seeking professional help. Do try, however, to be subtle about it and don’t force it on them.

People with anorexia nervosa often deny that they need help, so forcing them might only trigger them to sink further into their debilitating state. Try to breach the subject carefully and if you sense that they’re not willing to listen, wait for another chance to bring it up again.

Listen

comforting a friend

A person suffering from anorexia nervosa is in a delicate emotional state. It’s not wise to tell a person with this condition that you understand what they’re going through because chances are they’ll only think you’re telling that to convince them to change their lifestyle.

The best way to help a friend with this condition is simply to listen to them speak about their frustrations, insecurities and fears if they choose to share those with you.

Be patient

Patience is the key to helping someone with anorexia nervosa because recovering from this condition can be a lengthy process. It’s important that you show your friend or family member that you’re willing to go through it with them every step of the way.

Anorexia nervosa is a psychological disorder that takes years to heal, so you should be ready to wait it out with your loved one.

Just be there for them

Helping someone with an eating disorder may be daunting at times, but many patients have been able to bounce back because they sought professional help and because the people around them gave their full support.

So if you have a friend with this condition, the best way for you to help them is to simply be there when they need you the most.