Worried about an Adult
What should I look out for?
The difficulty that anyone experiences depends on a number of factors. These include individual circumstances, our unique personality and the type of eating disorder in question. The following is a list of common concerns often noticed by family and friends
- Excessive concern with weight
- Distorted body image
- Abnormal weight loss or fluctuation
- Unusual eating habits or rituals
- Restrictive Eating Pattern
- Extreme physical activity
- Overuse of laxatives, diuretics, emetics or diet pills
- Social isolation
- Denial of the problem
- Evidence of binge eating
- Hoarding of food
- Regularly leaving for a bathroom visit right after a meal
- Avoidance of restaurant or social events where food is present
- Disruption of menstrual cycle in women
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
- Feel cold, paleness
- Tooth decay
- Excessive calorie counting
- Dressing in layers to hide weight loss
- Frequent weighing
- Obsession with food and dieting
- Denial of hunger
What can I do to help?
Here are some ideas for you to consider
What do I do if the adult refuses therapy?
- He or she needs unconditional love during this difficult time. A love based on weight/food/eating will make her feel manipulated and controlled.
- Denial happens because of fearâ€¦ fear of having to give up control, fear that no one will understand, fear of what might happen.
- Give some information about eating disorders.
- Talking about food, weight or eating will usually turn into a power struggle. He will feel defensive, hostile and resentful. If you confront him about eating or his behaviour, he may resort to lying and avoid confrontation. Or he may feel embarrassed and attack you instead.
- Remember that food is not the only issue. Your loved one is also dealing with many other problems:
- Accept whatever she says as true and valid only to her. Say to her; "I know you feel afraid. I will be there to help you through the scary parts."
- Listen. Don't interrupt, criticize or tell her how she feels. Sit silently facing her or holding her if she wants to. Let her know you are there for her.