Colorado is one of the states that have the highest incidents of eating disorders (ED) among adolescents in the country. Despite its prevalence, many are still confused about the problem.
Because unlike coughs or colds that have clear-cut symptoms, EDs are much harder to qualify, with some family members of sufferers thinking that it’s just a diet taken to the extreme.
This is why it’s important for relatives to take note of changes in eating habits of loved ones and know the symptoms of ED so you can take proactive action. If you suspect eating disorders, here’s how you can help your loved one:
Learn as much as you can about the health problem
The more that you know about ED, the better you can communicate with your loved one. Aside from the symptoms of each type of ED, you must learn about the misconceptions attached to this health problem, since a lot of misguided advice and miscommunication come from here.
Keep in mind that because ED is a compulsive disorder, they become more serious over time. That’s why early intervention is important.
When you see early signs of the problem, it’s best to take loved ones to a center for eating disorder; Colorado Springs health experts from EDCare will recommend a unique treatment plan to address the eating disorder.
Talk about the things you observe
Rather than the things your loved one is doing. Instead of straight out asking them, “why aren’t you eating anymore?” say, “I just noticed you skipped dinner for a couple of nights now. Is there something wrong?”
The former statement gives the impression that your loved one did something wrong, which would instantly make the person put up walls against you. The latter focuses on what you observe; something your loved one wouldn’t be able to invalidate.
Moreover, it’s letting the person know that you’re willing to listen if indeed there’s something wrong they want to share.
Create a safe space
A lot of times, ED sufferers don’t sound off precisely because there’s stigma around them. They feel that they would be shamed and blamed for not being able to control their eating habits and urges. They would rather isolate themselves than ask for help and be seen as weak or different.
Given that, it’s important to reassure your loved one that they won’t be humiliated for whatever problem they may have. Remind them that ED is not their fault, but a combination of all other factors, which is why getting treatment is important.
ED is a serious health problem. Encourage loved ones to seek medical help.