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 Post subject: Do's and Do Not's
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:39 am 
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Do:

1. Tell the person you are concerned about him/her. Let them know that you are scared, that you care, and that you would like to help.

2. Validate their feelings and perceptions even if you do not agree with them. They are their reality and are causing them pain. Encourage them to talk to others as well and to be honest with their treatment team about their thoughts and feelings.

3. Examine your own attitudes and beliefs concerning food, eating, body size and appearance.

4. Encourage your loved one in their decisions to make changes - especially ones of career, school or relationships. Previous choices may have been made to please or to live up to expectations of others. Empower them to recognize their strengths and capabilities.

5. Understand that this is a serious, life-threatening illness - not just a call for attention, a fad, simple dieting, or an act of stubbornness.


Do Not:

1. Do not discuss their weight, the number of calories consumed, or particular eating habits. Do not focus on appearance or on how they "ought to" eat or look. Try to discuss things other than food, weight, counting calories, and exercise. Try to discuss FEELINGS. In addition, do not talk about other people's bodies or weight (including your own) - this will be internalized as a personal message even if it was not meant to be.

2. Do not comment or compliment them on any weight gain you may notice )or weight loss.) "You look good" or "you look healthy" may sound like something positive to you, but they may interpret those phrases either as "Oh my gosh, I must be fat" or as "You must not have liked me much before, appearances really do matter."

3. Do not question them each day about what they ate or whether they engaged in symptoms. Instead ask, "How was your day?" which will tell you how they are doing and feeling without making them uncomfortable.

4. Do not wrongfully accuse them of lying about everything in your relationship because they have lied about their eating disorder behaviors. Understand that this is often done out of shame, guilt, and fear and is a symptom of the disorder - not necessarily character.

5. There is only so much a friend or family member can do. This is frustrating when you care about someone. You cannot make this person eat in a "normal" way. Trying to do so won't help and it won't work. Your job is to be an emotional support, not to be the "food police." There are professionals helping your friend or family member at this point so the responsibility for recovery should rest on your friend or family member and their treatment team. You might want to find a support group or educational meeting where you can share your concerns about your loved one.



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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Do Not's
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:30 pm 
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I found these to add to this thread- feel free to adapt/delete if necessary

Myths about Eating Disorders
Myth #1: You have to be underweight to have an eating disorder.
People with eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. Many individuals with eating disorders are of average weight or are overweight.
Myth #2: Only teenage girls and young women are affected by eating disorders.
While eating disorders are most common in young women in their teens and early twenties, they are found in men and women of all ages.
Myth #3: People with eating disorders are vain.
It’s not vanity that drives people with eating disorders to follow extreme diets and obsess over their bodies, but rather an attempt to deal with feelings of shame, anxiety, and powerlessness.
Myth #4: Eating disorders aren’t really that dangerous.
All eating disorders can lead to irreversible and even life-threatening health problems, such as heart disease, bone loss, stunted growth, infertility, and kidney damage.

Helping a loved one with an eating disorder
If you notice the warning signs of an eating disorder in a friend or family member, you may be hesitant to say anything out of fear that you’re mistaken, or that you’ll say the wrong thing, or you might alienate the person. Although it’s undeniably difficult to bring up such a delicate subject, don’t let these worries keep you from voicing valid concerns.
People with eating disorders are often afraid to ask for help. Some are struggling just as much as you are to find a way to start a conversation about their problem, while others have such low self-esteem they simply don’t feel that they deserve any help. Eating disorders will only get worse without treatment, and the physical and emotional damage can be severe. The sooner you start to help a loved one, the better their chances of recovery.
Talking to a friend or family member about their eating disorder
When approaching a loved one about an eating disorder, it’s important to communicate your concerns in a loving and non-confrontational way. Pick a time when you can speak to the person in private, then explain why you’re concerned. Try to remain positive, calm, focused, and respectful during conversations.
Your loved one may deny having an eating disorder or may become angry and defensive. However, it’s important you don’t give up. It may take some time before your loved one is willing to open up and admit to having a problem. Still, as difficult as it is to know that someone you love has an eating disorder, you cannot force someone to change. Unless it’s a young child, the decision to seek recovery has to come from them. But you can help by making it clear that you’ll continue to be there for him or her, with your compassion and support, whenever they’re ready to tackle the problem.

How to talk to someone about their eating disorder
Be careful to avoid critical or accusatory statements, as this will only bring out your friend’s or family member’s defenses. Instead, focus on the specific behaviors that worry you.
Focus on feelings and relationships, not on weight and food. Share your memories of specific times when you felt concerned about the person’s eating behavior. Explain that you think these things may indicate that there could be a problem that needs professional help.
Tell them you are concerned about their health, but respect their privacy. Eating disorders are often a cry for help, and the individual will appreciate knowing that you are concerned.
Do not comment on how they look. The person is already too aware of their body. Even if you are trying to compliment them, comments about weight or appearance only reinforce their obsession with body image and weight.
Make sure you do not convey any fat prejudice, or reinforce their desire to be thin. If they say they feel fat or want to lose weight, don't say "You're not fat." Instead, suggest they explore their fears about being fat, and what they think they can achieve by being thin.
Avoid power struggles about eating. Do not demand that they change. Do not criticize their eating habits. People with eating disorders are trying to be in control. They don't feel in control of their life. Trying to trick or force them to eat can make things worse.
Avoid placing shame, blame, or guilt on the person regarding their actions or attitudes. Do not use accusatory “you” statements like, “You just need to eat.” Or, “You are acting irresponsibly.” Instead, use “I” statements. For example: “I’m concerned about you because you refuse to eat breakfast or lunch.” Or, “It makes me afraid to hear you vomiting.”
Avoid giving simple solutions. For example, "If you'd just stop, then everything would be fine!"

Helping your child with an eating disorder
Many kids with an eating disorder will react defensively and angrily when confronted for the first time. In addition to the health problems, kids who have an eating disorder are probably not having much fun. They tend to pull away from friends and keep to themselves, avoiding going out for pizza with their friends, for example, or enjoying a birthday party.
If you suspect your child has an eating disorder but he or she denies anything is wrong, book an appointment with their pediatrician or family doctor, or ask a school counselor, religious leader, or trusted friend to help. Often kids find it easier to admit that they have a problem to someone outside of their immediate family. A doctor will also be able to determine if there are any signs of the serious health problems associated with an eating disorder. Also, eating disorder specialists are used to dealing with children who refuse to admit they have a problem. They are experienced dealing with denial and making a child feel comfortable talking about the problem.

Tips for parents of a child with an eating disorder
It can be deeply distressing for a parent to know that their child is struggling with an eating disorder. As well as ensuring your child receives the professional help he or she needs, here are some other tips:
Examine your own attitudes about food, weight, body image and body size. Think about the way you personally are affected by body-image pressures, and share these with your child.
Avoid threats, scare tactics, angry outbursts, and put-downs. Bear in mind that an eating disorder is often a symptom to extreme emotional and stress, an attempt to manage emotional pain, stress, and/or self-hate. Negative communication will only make it worse.
Set caring and consistent limits for your child. For example, know how you will respond when your child wants to skip meals or eat alone, or when they get angry if someone eats their "special" food.
Remain firm. Regardless of pleas to "not make me," and promises that the behavior will stop, you have to stay very attuned to what is happening with your child and may have to force them to go to the doctor or the hospital. Keep in mind how serious eating disorders are.
Do whatever you can to promote self-esteem in your child in intellectual, athletic, and social endeavors. Give boys and girls the same opportunities and encouragement. A well-rounded sense of self and solid self-esteem are perhaps the best antidotes to disordered eating.
Encourage your child to find healthy ways to manage unpleasant feelings such as stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, or self-hatred.
Remember it's not your fault. Parents often feel they must take on responsibility for the eating disorder, which is something they truly have no control over. Once you can accept that the eating disorder is not anyone's fault, you can be freed to take action that is honest and not clouded by what you "should" or "could" have done.


Take care of yourself and have patience
Don’t become so preoccupied with your loved one’s eating disorder that you neglect your own needs. Make sure you have your own support, so you can provide it in turn. Whether that support comes from a trusted friend, a support group, or your own therapy sessions, what matters is that you have an outlet to talk about your feelings and to emotionally recharge. It’s also important to schedule time into your day for distressing, relaxing, and doing things you enjoy.
Recovering from an eating disorder takes time. There are no quick fixes or miracle cures, so it’s important to have patience and compassion. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on your loved one by setting unrealistic goals or demanding progress on your own timetable. Provide hope and encouragement, praise each small step forward, and stay positive through struggles and setbacks.



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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Do Not's
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:59 am 
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A quick entry after talking about this with friends
Trying to give them a reality shock will not work. Please do not bring up starving children in Africa, warfare, famine, AIDs or any other natural disaster in an attempt to make them realise 'how good they've got it'
This will only succeed in increasing the guilt that the person with the ED feels, and they most likely feel a lot of it anyway.
As hard as it is to remember, the eating disorder is NOT choice. And making them feel bad for not eating whilst there are starving children in Africa, will not persuade them to eat.



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 Post subject: Re: Do's and Do Not's
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:54 pm 
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I think I am going to print out that list Christen and give it to my mum. She keeps asking how she can help me/what sort of foods are easy for me/what I like to eat etc.. and I honestly have no clue whatsoever atm :( and I know it's incredibly frustrating for her and she needs to know from me what I need and what will help.. and that list seems to sum it up fairly well... so yeah. God this is so hard talking about this so openly and directly with my mum and I'm really sucking at conveying myself atm. Thanks for linking me to this Christen!



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