How to Support Your Loved Ones
When a family member is diagnosed with an eating disorder, it can be a scary and confusing time. You may wonder how this happened to your family or if your loved one will ever get better. Fear may take over and you might find yourself searching for answers and unsure of the next best steps. Seeking help is the first step.
There is a path forward and recovery is possible.
It is crucial during this time to have the right tools that will help you become an active partner in recovery to help your loved one recover from this illness. Recovery requires a village. For this reason, we encourage your involvement in the treatment process. We want to partner with you so you do not have to go through this process alone. We want you to know that eating disorders are not a choice and they are not the fault of the parents, spouse, or anyone else in your family system. You can, however, play an important role in helping your loved one get better.
Our goals in working with family and support persons include providing education, treatment, healing, recovery, and how you can best help and be a part of this process.
We are here for your loved one and we are here for you.
Hope for Full Recovery & Relapse Prevention
Recovery is possible and is typically achieved with intensive and thoughtful treatment, careful planning and ongoing support. It is usually a combined effort of care and aftercare, and success is regularly maintained by personal effort and inclusion of a team of friends, family and treatment professionals. Given the depth and complexity of this illness, individuals in recovery often share that their process was an accumulation of lessons learned over time that did not follow a linear or expected pattern. A mindful application of skills and techniques over time can lead to a successfully maintained recovery.
Caregivers should remember that:
- Eating Disorders are serious mental illnesses. But people with eating disorders who receive appropriate treatment can and do recover, and greatly benefit from the participation of the individual’s family and social support systems. We encourage you to stay engaged and involved with your loved one’s treatment at Reasons and to also seek your own outside support from organizations such as NAMI or a local support group.
- Recovery is a process. Begin to accept, understand and live the concept of one day at a time. There are no quick or easy solutions for recovery from an eating disorder. Physicians, therapists and other experts have no magic cure. It often takes a person working alongside caregivers and professionals to fully engage in the recovery process and continue on the journey to healing.
Five Things Families & Friends Should Know
We recommend that you take a look at these web-based resources. These organizations provide support forums, research, resources and testimonials.
“The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is the leading 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States advocating on behalf of and supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. Reaching millions every year, we campaign for prevention, improved access to quality treatment, and increased research funding to better understand and treat eating disorders. We work with partners and volunteers to develop programs and tools to help everyone who seeks assistance.”
“The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that seeks to prevent and alleviate the problems of eating disorders, especially including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. ANAD advocates for the development of healthy attitudes, bodies, and behaviors. ANAD promotes eating disorder awareness, prevention and recovery through supporting, educating, and connecting individuals, families and professionals.”
“The Academy for Eating Disorders is a global professional association committed to leadership in eating disorders research, education, treatment, and prevention.”
We Hold Hope for Your Recovery
Eating disorder recovery is not always easy, but it is possible. Let us support you in discovering not only the reasons for your eating disorder but the reasons for your recovery. To schedule a no-cost clinical consultation or for more information, please call 844-573-2766 or use our online contact form. In case of a medical emergency or crisis, please call 911 or seek the nearest emergency room.