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
Guidelines for Families and Significant Others

Friends and family members are often the forgotten victims of eating disorders. If someone you care about has an eating disorder, it is difficult to know what to do for the person or for yourself. No matter what effort might be taken such as helping find a therapist, sitting up all night talking, taking away laxatives, etc., ultimately you have no power over another person's behavior. You do have power over what you choose to do about the situation and the more knowledgeable and prepared you are the better chance you have for success. Even when you don't know how your friend or loved one will receive your concern, it is important that you express it and offer to help. Even if it is received poorly, don't give up.

It is difficult but important that friends and family members keep trying to reach out to a suffering loved one in order to facilitate the person getting help and to support them during their struggle. Your efforts, love, and support may be crucial to your loved one's recovery. People who have recovered from eating disorders often cite being loved, believed in, and not given up on as crucial factors in their getting help and getting well. If you have observed behaviors in a friend or loved one and are concerned that they have a problem with food or weight, that is enough reason to say something to them. You do not need to wait until you have signs or proof of a full-blown eating disorder. The sooner you discuss things the better, for your sake and for theirs.