Binge-eating disorder (BED) can be a life-threatening disorder for anyone. When you binge-eat, you often lose control not only of what you eat but also the quantity and interval of eating. This often leads to purging by excessive exercise, forced vomiting, or self-induced diarrhea.
Do you know someone who has BED? Then it is essential that you learn what you can do to support their recovery. Here are the common mistakes that you should avoid when helping your loved one:
Assuming that you know how to help
It is not enough that you know what their eating disorder is. It is essential to learn about what you can do best to help them. The most significant thing that you can do is to try to understand what they feel by being up close and personal. If you’re not sure how to approach and confront your loved one about their binge eating, then don’t hesitate to ask support from a pro. They can help you talk to your loved one and start formulating a binge-eating treatment plan for their full recovery.
Forcing them to do things
Your relative or friend may need your support. But forcing them to open up and stop their binge eating won’t help. It can only make matters worse. Listen to what they have to say. Make them feel comfortable around you and show them that you’re there to help. Tell them that they can count on you anytime they need someone to talk to, especially about their eating problems.
Focusing on the food rather than their feelings
More often than not, food is not always the problem. For binge-eaters, their emotions are what usually make them eat more. Experts will agree that there is a direct link between depression and binge eating. Some chemical changes in the brain that affects depression can also affect their eating habits. Your loved one’s way of coping with their emotions is through binge eating. Understand that is not just about the food, but it is their feelings that are the problem.
Asking insensitive questions
Do you find yourself asking your loved one why they don’t try to exercise more and eat a more balanced diet? Do you ask them why they look unhealthy or why they don’t look sick at all? Such questions are not what your loved one needs to hear from you. Take note of the things that you should avoid telling your loved one. Talk about anything unrelated to their binge-eating problem. Your compassionate presence is what they need, not your harsh judgment or insensitive inquiries.
Failing to validate their feelings
Learn how to validate their feelings. Telling them that their feelings are valid is one right way to support them. Whenever they feel angry, stressed, or upset over something, validate their feelings by telling them out loud. When you do this, it proves that you get whatever they are going through and that you’re there to help.
Bad habits and negative thoughts can cause your loved one to overeat. By replacing these with positive emotions and healthy habits, your loved one can recover from their eating disorder. Know that your support is the best thing that you can offer to facilitate their road to recovery. Never make the mistakes listed above. Be patient, keep an open mind, listen, and try to understand what they are going through.