Tips for Helping Someone With an Eating Disorder

Not every person with an eating disorder is underweight. It has more to do with the mindset than that actual weight itself. Yes, by definition, anorexics are clinically diagnosed once they reach below a certain percentage of their appropriate body; however, here its best we help all eating disorder thoughts, not just their weight.

  • Eating disorders are about control, not actually about how they look- although, a person with an eating disorder without the insight to know that may not agree.
  • Don’t tell them your weight, or what you used to weigh, etc. To them, they will turn everything weight and food related into a competition. So when I speak to someone as a person who has struggled from an eating disorder, I talk about the thoughts behind it not the actions.
  • People with eating disorders are very competitive and manipulative. It may seem as if they look at this as a game, and in some respects they do. They always want to be a better anorexic/bulimic than someone else. Its part of the perfectionist and addictive personalities that people with eating disorder typically possess.
  • The main thing I wanted to share was to speak about the thoughts behind the eating disorder not the weight. There are a lot of “tricks” that eating disordered people will use and are always looking for better ways to beat those who are trying to help them (in their minds, control them). So be careful not to accidently give them suggestions on how to “trick” better. We just have to be mindful when talking with someone with an eating disorder. Just like if we were speaking with a self-harmer, we wouldn’t discuss ways to do it. its similar with those with eating disorders, just much less obvious. We may not even realize what we are saying is hurting rather than helping. It wouldn’t be intentional, but its defiantly something we need to be careful about.
  • Men can have eating disorders too
  • You can be anorexic and bulimic at the same time
  • If your anorexic doesn’t mean your super skinny; if your bulimic doesn’t mean your not….again, its more about mind set, not their weight.

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