Learn about eating problems, including possible causes, symptoms and how to access treatment and support. Includes self-care tips for helping yourself, plus guidance for friends and family.
You can do lots of things to help, despite how helpless you might sometimes feel.
You may experience difficult feelings if someone you care about has an eating problem. You might:
This can make you feel powerless, frustrated and angry.
At first, you might just want to show the person you're here for them and you support them.
Try to be considerate of the following:
You might be finding it hard to understand the person's eating problem. This can also make it hard to be accepting towards how they might feel. Or how your attitude or behaviour might make them feel.
Try thinking about the following:
"She would drive to my sixth form college everyday to help me eat. She wouldn't push me or tell me to eat, she would just sit there patiently and be with me at that difficult time in the day. She would also be with me as I had panic attacks after meals."
As well as developing your own understanding, these practical ideas can help the person you're worried about.
You could try the following:
It's important that you manage your own wellbeing while supporting your friend or family member. Try to do the following if you can:
This information was published in January 2021. We will revise it in 2024.
References and bibliography available on request.
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