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Eating disorders: tips for families
It can be difficult for family and friends to know how to help when someone they love has an eating disorder. Here, we offer some guidelines to help you help your loved one.
- Be patient -- eating disorders can be a long-term illness. You cannot expect over-night recovery even if the person is in therapy.
- Encourage the individual to seek professional help for his/her eating disorder.
- Be aware that low self-esteem is often an issue for those with eating disorders.
- Allow each household member to make his or her own food choices.
- Accept your limitations and seek outside help for yourself.
- Avoid power struggles over food
- Accept the other person’s right to an independent life
- Hold the person responsible for behavior that affects others
- Encourage the person to get involved with non-food related activities.
- Be surprised if you are met with denial or hostility when you first raise concerns about the individual’s eating behaviour
- Don’t lay blame. This only reinforces the individual’s feelings of failure.
- Eat or avoid foods solely to accommodate the individual’s eating disorder.
- Dwell on food-related discussions.
- Make mealtimes a battleground
- Monitor someone else’s behaviour for them
- Try to act as a therapist
- Comment on the individual’s weight and/or appearance
For more information:
Eating Disorder Clinic
Rm 3005, 3rd Floor
Abbie J. Lane Memorial Building
5909 Veteran’s Memorial Lane
Halifax NS B3H 2E2
Phone: (902) 473-6288
Fax: (902) 473-6282
Our receptionist Mary Jane is available from Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
We do not provide emergency service. If you have an emergency please contact your local emergency department.
Eating Disorders Action Group
6156 Quinpool Road suite 201
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3L 1A3
phone (902) 443-9944