For years, many have been suffering alone when it comes to disorders that are hard to understand or explain. Those who have anxiety or depression know this struggle quite well. Even those battling with bulimia. Despite their best efforts to reach out, many find it extremely challenging to be with other people, as mealtimes might be a stressful time for them. For people going through any of these, the support of family members is badly needed but difficult to attain.
Being there for your loved one might be the push they need to get better. Here’s what you can do to show them you care:
Help Them Find Treatment
You know your loved one well enough to form an opinion on what you think works best for them. The most straightforward way to support a person dealing with bulimia is to help them assess their options for treatment and decide on which route they want to go.
In Westport, CT, there are different centers offering treatment for bulimia, each with a different focus. Some are centered on family and rely on their faith, while others have a more progressive approach. Your loved one may get overwhelmed or feel like nothing fits their situation, so your job is to help them consider what they will get from the treatment options available.
Help Them in Real-world Situations
The goal of treatment is not to hide the problem. The goal is to tackle it head on and be able to live a normal life despite the eating disorder’s presence in your loved one’s history. You will not be able to tell that their situation has improved if they still live an isolated life.
It’s better to draw them out of their hiding place and out to society, where they can be with likeminded people and forge friendships. When temptations present themselves, be there to support your loved one so that they will not be on their way to a relapse.
Tell Them it’s Okay to Take it Slow
A person with an eating disorder who gets the support of their family is lucky to have that group to give them strength when they feel weak. However, as many people know of their eating disorder, they may feel burdened by the eyes on them and the expectations for them to get better within a shorter period.
Understand that the whole family might be supportive, but the person still needs to heal in their own time. If they are taking it slowly, no one should make them feel bad about it. Show your support by reassuring them that they are doing well, and talk to the other members of the family to avoid insensitive remarks.
A person suffering from disordered eating is not the only one who has to tackle their condition and its consequences. You and everyone else showing support also have roles to play. Make sure that in your attempt to help, you are not adding pressure to your loved one’s mental health.