Helping someone going through a hard time requires more than just being physically there and showing your support. Sometimes, saying the right things can make a huge difference.
However, Googling how to help people with eating disorders often lead to search results which tell you the things you should AVOID doing more than what you SHOULD say and do. Avoiding the wrong words is one thing, saying the right one is another.
So, if you have a loved one going through binge eating disorder treatment programs, or other kinds of eating disorders for that matter, here are some of the most important words to show them you care.
1. “How are you?”
Asking this means you are concerned about the person’s overall well-being and not necessarily just concerned about how they are handling her eating disorder. Patients should still feel like there is life beyond their disorder and life beyond food. Asking a simple “how are you” and discussing things not related to the disorder will be of great help.
2. “It is okay, you can rest.”
People with eating disorders deal with a lot of emotions and are psychologically vulnerable. When they show signs of weakness or tiredness, it is important to be sensitive and allow them to catch their breath and rest. The road to recovery is not an easy one, nor is it a race. Everybody deserves some time to rest.
3. “I am here for you.”
You will never understand what they go through, and it is alright to admit to that instead of pretending that you know what they feel. Assuring them that you are there and will be there despite everything makes a huge difference.
4. “We can get through this together.”
You might not understand the path that they are taking, but you can walk with them through it. Knowing that they have someone to be with throughout this difficult journey is encouraging.
5. “Your condition does not define you.”
People who do not know about the condition can easily see the person as the sickness itself, when in fact, those are two very different things. Knowing that someone sees through the condition and still see the beauty and person inside is very important. Sometimes, just simply realizing this is enough to keep them going in their battles.
6. “You are important.”
A person with an eating disorder normally has low self-esteem. It is easy for them to disregard their importance in this world. Having someone to remind them that they are loved and cared for on a regular basis can help them get through the challenges that they are going through more easily.
Eating disorders are conditions that can be treated with the right medication, treatment plan, and support group. Being a pillar of strength and encouragement to people who are going through this difficult situation is something that you can do with both your words and your actions. So, saying the right things is very important. Do not be afraid to say them and help others!