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How To Support Someone in Recovery

This is a touchy issue. So many different issues are represented by an eating disorder that you must approach this issue with great care. Someone who is recoverying from an eating disorder may be very resistant to advice, suggestions, or even a simple act of support such as a card or an email. It very much depends on the age of the person, their family/relationship history, and what role you happen to play in their life. A person may claim a desire to recover, but when it comes to changing behaviors, the fear and difficulties involved may produce a reaction of isolation and pulling away from those who are trying to help.

Difficulty in accepting help is a common theme among people with eating disorders. It correlates with the need/desire for control and independence. Even if you point out that their way of control is, in reality killing them, they may not be able to process that in a realistic way, or in a way that will assist them to change behaviors. Every situation is different and unique, but the first step in supporting a person in recovery from an eating disorder is to simply ask them how you can help. You can't force it, and when they are able to ask for what they need, it's a step toward a more healthy way of living.