Despite the jokes and stereotypes surrounding anorexia, it is a devastating psychiatric disease. It does not only consume the affected with different types of negative emotions; it also makes things worse by affecting the people around them in one way or another.
Knowing the gravity of the disease, you need to make your friend suffering from it that they are not alone. You need to give them an assurance that they are loved and taken care of. And when you take this route, you must give your best. You must choose your words. You must learn how to be sensitive.
Here are some pointers:
Explain your side
At this time, it’s better to be direct without being confrontational and condescending. Try your best to explain your intent to help. But before you do that, you must pick an appropriate time. And when you talk to your friend, do not attempt to give out any form of criticism. Voice out your worry; this may be one of the times when you can encourage them to undergo treatment for anorexia nervosa.
Show your support
Once you express your intent to help, your friend may try to shut you off, especially if they do not acknowledge the reality they are facing. Denial is just normal. They may even become mad at you. But keep in mind that it is not them; it is their disease and their fear to face reality. What you need to do is do your best to become unconditional in giving your love and support. Your persistence can have a positive impact on them.
Anticipate that moment when you will feel like giving up. This is a normal part of the process, and you need to forgive yourself. Do not blame yourself. More importantly, take care of yourself. Your downtrodden self may even paint a negative and paradoxical picture for your friend who might be already looking up to you.
Being understanding is one of the most important steps to helping your friend. Help yourself, so you will be able to help them. And when you think that you cannot handle it, do not hesitate to seek help.