Hey I’m reaching out for some advice, my longtime friend has finally opened up about her eating disorder. Any advice on the best way to support her towards recovery?
I’m going to tell you some stuff that I find really helpful but obviously I don’t know your friend’s experiences.
The most important thing for me is to be able to talk about my ED and know someone is listening, not judging. Even if they can’t relate, it’s really comforting to just be able to talk without the other person cringing or constantly urging you to eat. Unless your friend asks you; do not try to moniter their intake or hang over their shoulder or anything like that. Take notice, and ask them how they’re doing today, how they’re feeling, how they’re eating, but please don’t scold.
Your friend is going to have good days and bad days. There will be frustration.
Eating disorders can develop from many different situations but something I’ve learned from the people I’ve met in and out of hospitals is that the most common misconception is that it’s all about the media and the pressure to be thin. Reasons for bad relationships with food tend to be much more personal - the tendency to blame the media/magazines/whatever feels like a cop out and is probably the biggest barrier to proper, specialised, treatment of EDs.
It would be good to talk this over with your friend; straight up ask what they need if you’re unsure. I hope this helps, good luck!