Seek help early
A person with an eating disorder may show resistance to getting help. Sometimes they do not want to get well as they are ashamed of their eating and exercise behaviours and fear anyone knowing about them. You can help them by remaining supportive, positive and encouraging.
The importance of seeking help early cannot be overstated. There is strong evidence that, the earlier the intervention, the shorter the duration of the disorder, and the greater the likelihood of full recovery. This is true in all cases, but especially important in children and younger adolescents. In these cases, it may not be feasible or even advisable to wait for the consent of your young person before seeking help. If in doubt, it is better to act on your concerns and seek help straightaway.
While GPs may not be formally trained in detecting the presence of an eating disorder, they are a good ‘first base.’ In addition, there is a range of clinicians with specialised knowledge, including medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, dieticians, counsellors and occupational therapists who are specifically trained to help people with eating disorders.
It may take time to find the right treatment and the right therapist to meet the needs of you and your friend or loved one. Everyone responds differently to different types of treatment and no one treatment suits all. You can offer support by giving them the time they need to find and respond to the recovery program that best suits them. The best type of treatment is one that is long term and focussed on the needs of the person with the eating disorder and their family or circle of support, with recovery as the ultimate goal.
Find help in your local area