Ke$ha recently released a statement saying, “I’m a crusader for being yourself and loving yourself, but I’ve found it hard to practice. I’ll be unavailable for the next 30 days, seeking treatment for my eating disorder … to learn to love myself again, exactly as I am.” We applaud everyone brave enough to speak up and ask for help. If you or someone you know is struggling with issues related to weight, food, self-image or depression, it’s important to reach out for support before things get worse. Here are some tips on how you can help a friend.
+ Reach Out and Listen
If you’re worried about a friend, just reach out to them and express your concerns in a nonjudgmental way. Avoid trying to diagnose their situation by saying things like “I think you might have an eating disorder.” Instead, explain why you are worried in a supportive way: “You have seemed really down on yourself lately, and I want to be there for you.” Remember to listen and let your friend explain how they are feeling or what they’re going through — even if you don’t understand all of it.
+ Offer Help
Reaching out for professional help doesn’t mean you’re sick or crazy — it just means that you need a little help to deal with difficult feelings or situations. It’s important to encourage a friend who is struggling to get that support. To learn more about getting help and how to do it, visit HalfOfUs.
+ Give That Support
An important part of managing an eating disorder or conditions like depression is having a strong support network. Be an ongoing part of your friend’s healing process and constantly remind them that you’re part of that network.
+ Take Care of Yourself
Sometimes trying to support a friend, especially one that might be resistant to getting help, can be emotionally draining. If you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out for help yourself. And if a friend isn’t open to talking about their problem or getting help, reach out to a mutual friend, parent or a professional for guidance on what to do next. You can also call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) anytime for a free conversation with a counselor who can recommend ways to get help for yourself or a friend.
Half Of Us
Learn more about eating disorders and how to get support or help a friend with it.
Facts From NEDA
Get general information on eating disorder identification, prevention and treatment.