Knowing how to support someone with an eating disorder can be so difficult. I’ve compiled a bit of a list of ideas that can help me and therefore help others to givepeople some ideas and help them to reduce their feeling of being helpless.
Get them to talk about something they’re passionate about flooding their minds with that positive thing!
Call them! You don’t have to talk about how you/they are feeling in life, but even just hearing what people are up to and talking about the good things in your week and yarning about the latest life dramas can be really calming and distracting because it feels so ‘normal’.
Get them out of the house or company, even if it’s just a matter of running errands or studying together. This brings them out of their heads and into things that are productive and not food – centered.
Talk to them through their thoughts. This one is pretty intense so never feel compelled to do it, but sometimes taking the thing you’re worried about and showing it to someone else (metaphorically) helps you put that worry into perspective in terms of importance and look realistically at how you can deal with it.
Let them know when they’re disordered by something they say. Differentiating between one’s own thoughts and disordered thoughts can be really difficult at times, so it’s helpful to have someone say hey that’s talking about the ED.
Steer conversations to a new topic when others begin to talk about diets / weight loss / other things that are likely to be highly triggering.
Message them when you’re eating and remind them that it’s a meal time and they must eat because their body needs it.
Reminders that: how they feel is temporary and passes, they deserve and need to eat, their value is not dependent on weight, they need to recover to accomplish all the dreams they have for their lives, they have survived their worst days so far, etc.