Supporting a loved one with an eating disorder can be incredibly painful. Whether you are a parent, sister, brother, aunt, cousin, friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse the disorder effects you aswell. An eating disorder is a family disease, it not only changes the life of the sufferer but also all of the people around them.
Too often the supporters are focused on getting help for their loved one through doctors, dieticians, therapists etc. and forget that they need some support too! I would personally suggest getting as much information as you can about eating disorders so that you are able to help without harming. There are a number of support groups, both online and offline that are set up to help supporters and some individual counselling can help you deal with all of the frustrations that arise when dealing with an eating disorder in your family.
Supporters would do ANYTHING to take away the pain they see their loved one exposed to on a daily basis, whether financial, emotional or physical. Unfortunately, there is very little loved ones can actually do to ease the suffering of the person with an eating disorder, often sufferers say that the only thing the family can do is to love them and be there for them. That being said, it is important to keep the lines of communication open and ask what, if anything, you can do for your loved one.
I have put together a couple of posts that provide tips and information to supporters, please feel free to view them at your leisure. If there is something you would like me to discuss in particular, please contact me.