As you have read about my journey with my eating disorder and Body Dysmorphic Disorder you are probably wondering what you can do to help support a friend or loved one who may be struggling with this. Even though I am not a medical professional or therapist here are 5 tips that have helped me in my own journey.
- Encourage seeking proper medical and mental health care. Even though I am struggling with facing my fears of getting medical care I know all to well that medical and mental health care go hand in hand. It is important to be sure all providers be on the same page.
- Once a proper medical diagnosis is made, try to educate yourself on the disorder(s) your loved one has. This can help you understand what they are going through and what kind of options your loved one may have in terms of treatment.
- Make sure your loved one understands and follows their own care plan. Be aware that sometimes slipups can happen but remind them to get back on track so they can be healthier and happier. An example of this, was when I was trying the no white food diet. It was hard for me to stick to the diet because there were so many restrictions. I would cheat a lot. My family and friends were encouraging. They helped me get back on the diet. After giving it a fair chance though I found out the diet was not for me.
- Be careful what you post on social media! This is one of the tips that really touches my heart. Not only can words be hurtful, but images can too. Recently, someone in my family posted a photo of Miss Piggy with the words, “I have an eating disorder…I’m about to eat dis order of fries, dis order of wings & dis order of nuggets.” Someone you know, love and care about could be struggling with an eating disorder and they are working hard to get healthy again. Posts like this one can cause them to have a relapse. Instead of posting negative posts be positive and supportive. You never know who is going through a hard time.
- Encourage healthy eating and exercise. This tip has helped me a lot when it comes to my Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I find that exercising helps me have more energy and I feel a lot less depressed and anxious. When it comes to healthy eating, I find this also improves my mood and energy levels. Keeping a healthy weight has helped me not worry about what I look like.
Remember if you are working towards a healthier body image remember these three statements: You can do this. You are worth it. You deserve to be happy and healthy.
Leave a comment if you are supporting someone or if you are going through this.