Monte Nido® Eating Disorder Treatment Center
"The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion, fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you plant there?"

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family & significant others
Getting Help and Support for Yourself

If you care about someone who has an eating disorder, it can be painful, frustrating, and confusing. You need knowledge, guidance, and support in dealing with the situation. The more knowledge you have about the causes of eating disorders and what to expect in regards to treatment, the easier it will be for you.

You are going to experience a range of emotions from helplessness and anger, to despair. You may find yourself losing control of your emotions and actions. You may even become preoccupied with your own and other family member's eating and weight. It is important to get help for yourself. You need to talk about your own feelings as well as getting guidance for how to deal with your loved one. Good friends are important, but a therapist or support group may also be necessary. There are support groups and therapy groups you can attend that include your loved one and groups for parents and significant others only. These groups are hard to find and it may be worth your while to start a support group yourself and let local hospital programs, therapists and doctors know.

An individual therapist may also be important so you can discuss in detail your particular situation, your feelings, and your specific needs. Whether your significant other or loved one gets help, let him/ her know that you are getting help for yourself. This may assist your significant other to take the situation more seriously, but even if it does not, you must take care of yourself. If you do not stay healthy and strong you will not be able to help someone else.

Remember the instructions on an airline flight to first put on your own oxygen mask, then to put one on your child. With your own oxygen mask on, you can safely explore treatment for those you care about and love.