In today’s society, image is everything. So many people are looking at Instagram models and actresses on the covers of magazines to define their own personal beauty standards. As a result, there are a lot of women who are struggling to embrace who they naturally are. Unfortunately, many women struggle with eating disorders. If you think that someone you’re close to is struggling with an eating disorder, you have the power to help them get through it. As a friend, there are ways that you can actively help them to seek eating disorder treatment and get better. However, it is a decision they have to make on their own. Consider these four eating diorders signs and symptoms and some solutions that you can utilize to help a friend or family member.
1. Laxative Obsession
Take a look at the subject of conversation. Does the person tend to talk a lot about laxatives? Are they obsessed with the latest detox tea or laxative they’re taking on a consistent basis? If they tend to take a lot of laxatives on a daily basis, this is a sign that they’re trying to quickly get rid of the food in their system. It’s important to eat so that the body has nutrients and fuel to energize itself. When a person abuses laxatives, the end up damaging their digestive system. Laxatives are meant for times when the digestive system is backed up and needs a little help moving everything out of the body. It’s not meant for consistent consumption.
2. Body Dysmorphia
There are a lot of people who are obsessed with their weight. This is because so many people judge you based on it. While it’s an unfortunate experience, it’s not something should ever consume a person. When a person develops body dysmorphia, they can’t see their bodies the way everyone else does. In fact, their mind has tricked them into believing that they look one way when they really don’t. An example of this involves a person who weighs 100 pounds but believes they are obese. While that might seem insane to many people, this makes total sense to the person who has body dysmorphia. When a person has body dysmorphia, they are a danger to themselves because they won’t know when to stop losing weight. Because it’s a mental issue, they’ll never be satisfied at a specific weight.
3. Too Much Gym Time
There are many people who work out twice a day within a specific time frame because they’re trying to lose weight to reach a specific goal. Whether it’s a photo shoot, family reunion or upcoming vacation, it’s not uncommon for some people to hit the gym twice a day for a few weeks or months. However, this is not a lifestyle. If you know someone who tends to work out in the gym for hours and hours, something is really off. Most people don’t have the time to spend hours in the gym every day. If they’re not training for a specific event, chances are they’re dealing with a serious eating disorder and need help.
4. Intense Diet Restrictions
Unfortunately, there are some people who are restricted due to certain allergies. However, this doesn’t mean that they deprive themselves. If you are eating less than 1,000 calories a day, this is a definite red flag. The standard diet for good nutrition is between 1,700 and 2,000 calories every single day. If you know someone who nibbles at food and doesn’t tend to eat a lot, they might be depriving their body in an unhealthy way.
1. Talk to the friend in a non-judgemental way.
If you have a healthy and supportive relationship with the person, have a face-to-face conversation. Sit down with them and let them know you’re coming from a place of love and genuine concern. Talk to them about how you’ve noticed a few red flags. As a result, you just want to make sure everything is okay.
2. Recommend solutions together.
Consider sharing the fact that you are willing to help them walk through recovery in any way you reasonably can. When a person is sinking, it always helps to have someone who can help them out of their mess. Let them know that you won’t judge them. You’ll keep everything confidential. It’s also important to let them know that you want to see them get better. You can serve as a source of accountability. However, it’s also wise to get professionals involved. There are treatment centers that can help people move through eating diorders signs and symptoms effectively. While it’s a tough hill to climb, a person will be able to get through it when they know they have the support they need.