How to Help a Friend

DosDont's
Allow free expression of feelingsDont' try to "fix" bad feelings
Acknowledge the small victoriesDon't set all goals around food
Focus on the emotions rather than the actions and behaviorsDon't try to stop a binge or restriction in progress-wait
Make time to talk after a tense moment has passedtry not to react with anger, but do not deny your anger
Help the person relaxDon't only communicate about the eating disorder
Talk- keep communicatingDon't be judgemental
Check to see if you understand what the person is sayingDon't talk down or lecture
Show love and supportDon't tell them what to do
Be understandingDon't set up an inquisition
Find positive things to talk aboutDon't be a police person
Take the focus off the foodDon't dwell on the past
Be there to supportTry not to blame
Focus on things that increase self-esteemDon't try to change them
Share your feelingsDont' try to control-let it go
Be honestDon't ask if they ahve eaten today
Ask what you can do to helpDon't change your life to revolve around the person with an eating disorder
Help structure relaxed mealsDon't let the eating disorder become your problem
Take care of yourselfDon't try to change the person

An added thought:

When you are caught in a bind of "damned if you do and damned if you don't" talk about the bind.

If the eating disordered individual does not want to get better, we cannot cure them. The will to recover must come from within the individual

Compiled from Deaconess Waltham Hospital form #550