Dealing With the Discovery of a Family Member’s Eating Disorder

Eating DisorderDo you notice any family member having trouble with their dietary intake? If they have been eating too much, too little, or vomiting it in the bathroom when they think no one’s looking, you should be alarmed for their sake. Here are a few steps you can do to reach out to them.

Know the Cause

Whether it’s bulimia, binge eating, or anorexia, eating disorders are caused by something. It’s not just a phase. They can be caused by genetics, social pressures, work stress, and even family issues.

When you notice a person in your family or group of friends doing drastic things to alter their body, consciously or subconsciously, find the root cause. It may take an expert to see the disorder’s symptoms, but knowing the cause is half the battle.

Be Supportive

It may be difficult to deal with a person living with a disorder at home. However, true charity and love begin there, where you show them that it’s part of the human condition and nothing they should be hiding from you. Listen to them, talk about their problems, and show them they’re still part of the home, not just a familiar stranger.

Support Should Not Equal Condoning

No matter how much you love them, supporting someone who is going through this condition doesn’t mean you will let them have what they want. It doesn’t matter if they persistently ask or beg for it. They aren’t aware of how much damage they’re doing to themselves, and if they are, they might not have the power to control it. You are their first line of defense against themselves.

Eating disorders are a heavy burden for both the person affected and their friends and family. Sometimes, you may have to take the big step and communicate with the person instead of waiting for them to reach out, especially if you notice how the condition affects their health and well-being.

Don’t hesitate to do what you can, as early as you can.