If you think your friend may have an eating disorder, there is something you can do to help her. You need to understand that most girls will not be eager to talk about this subject. First of all, many girls are in denial because they do not realize that they have crossed the line into disordered eating. A second reason is that they could be embarrassed or feel like a failure because they have lost control. When confronting someone about an eating disorder, it is a good idea to keep the following in mind:
1. Educate yourself about the problem
2. Find a time that is good to talk (a quiet time)
3. Use "I" statements instead of "you" statements
4. Listen to what she has to say
5. Be prepared that your help may not be taken
6. Be available if she needs help in the future.
Before taking steps to help someone who has an eating disorder, it is very important to know your own limitations. It is wise to refer the person to a physician, counselor or psychologist, or a family therapist, especially if the case is severe. Your role may be to support them once they have decided to go for help. That is an important role to play! And remember: you aren't helping if you do nothing at all!
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