How To Help Someone With Binge-Eating Disorder | Timberline Knolls, Treating Women & Girls Since 2005

Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center provides comprehensive care for women and girls who are struggling with binge-eating disorder. If you are trying to help a loved one overcome binge-eating disorder, Timberline Knolls delivers compassionate, comprehensive treatment that promotes lifelong healing.

Learn More About Binge-Eating Disorder

Learn how to help a loved one suffering from binge-eating disorder

If someone you care about has been struggling with binge-eating disorder, you have likely experienced a range of emotions. You are, of course, concerned about your loved one’s behaviors, and worried about her continued health. At the same time, you may also be confused, frustrated, or even angry. 

Please know that all of these are understandable responses, and you have nothing to be ashamed of. Binge-eating disorder is a complex mental health challenge, and its impact isn’t limited to the individuals who develop the disorder. 

What’s most important is that you don’t allow your negative emotions to overwhelm you. Binge-eating disorder is a treatable condition. The situation your loved one is currently in is not hopeless. With your help, she can get the treatment she needs.  

You can’t single-handedly help your loved one overcome binge-eating disorder, but you can play an essential role in putting her back on the path to a more promising tomorrow. 

Education and information are powerful weapons in the fight against binge-eating disorder. The more you understand about what your loved one is going through, the better prepared you will be to provide the most beneficial assistance. 

Your first step should be to learn all you can about the signs, symptoms, and effects of binge-eating disorder. Next, you will want to educate yourself about the types and levels of care that have helped other women or girls who were struggling with binge-eating disorder. Finally, you can move on to identifying the treatment centers that seem to be the best fit for your loved one. 

While you’re conducting your research, remember that there’s no such thing as one perfect treatment program for binge-eating disorder. You should focus your attention on finding the programs that appear to be best suited to your loved one, based upon your understanding of her strengths, needs, personality, and preferences.

Talk to Your Loved One

Prepare for the conversation about getting treatment for binge-eating disorder

Visiting reputable websites and consulting with experts can increase your knowledge of binge-eating disorder, but nothing can replace actually talking to your loved one about what she is experiencing. This conversation can also give you essential insights into your loved one’s willingness or hesitance to get professional treatment. 

Depending upon the nature of your relationship with your loved one, the thought of talking to her about her struggle with binge-eating disorder may be intimidating or even overwhelming. Here are a few tips to make the experience as stress-free and beneficial as possible: 

Express your concerns, emphasize your love and support, and share what you’ve learned. 

Listen to what your loved one has to say. This should be a discussion, not a lecture. 

Prepare for her to be hesitant, evasive, or even angry. Remain calm, and focus on your goal. Don’t allow the conversation to devolve into an argument. 

Remember that binge-eating disorder is a mental health condition. Your loved one may react in a manner that is uncharacteristic for her. Don’t lose sight of the fact that, perhaps now more than ever, she needs your compassion and support. 

If your loved one is willing to enter treatment, do whatever you can to eliminate obstacles. Offer to schedule appointments, provide transportation, arrange for childcare, and otherwise free her up to focus on getting help and getting better. 

If your loved one is resistant to the idea of entering a residential or outpatient treatment program for binge-eating disorder, consult with the programs that you’ve been researching. Admissions professionals can give you some advice on how best to proceed. 

Finally, remember that your conversation with your loved one is not a one-time event. Keep the lines of communication open, and remain an active positive presence in your loved one’s life. 

Should You Stage an Intervention?

Consider an intervention for a loved one suffering from binge-eating disorder

If your loved one needs, but has been unwilling to enter, treatment for binge-eating disorder, an intervention may be necessary and beneficial.  

Interventions are small gatherings of close friends and family members, conducted for the purpose of convincing a person to enter treatment. Interventions are most commonly held for people who have been struggling with substance abuse or addiction. However, they can be an option for individuals who have been resistant to getting professional help for binge-eating disorder or other eating disorders. 

If your only prior exposure to interventions has been via television shows or movies, it’s important for you to understand that these media portrayals are typically skewed for dramatic or comedic effect. Even so-called reality shows may arrange or edit interventions in ways that emphasize drama or conflict. 

A properly conducted intervention requires careful planning and detailed preparation. The goal is not to confront, accuse, or argue. Instead, the sole objective of an effective intervention is to convince a person to enter treatment. 

If you’ve been considering an intervention for a loved one who is dealing with binge-eating disorder, it’s vital that you do your research first. Depending upon what you learn, you may want to involve a professional who can provide guidance and direction.

With Help & Planning, You Can Succeed

Encourage your loved one to seek treatment for binge-eating disorder

Trying to help a loved one who has been struggling with binge-eating disorder can be a challenging and emotional experience. It can also be one of the most important efforts you ever make.  

Here are a few additional thoughts to keep in mind as you work to get your loved one into treatment for binge-eating disorder: 

Get help. If at all possible, resist any urge to accomplish this all on your own. Enlist a small group of trusted family members or friends. You can support each other while working to help your loved one.  

Practice self-care. Be sure that you’re not ignoring your own physical, social, or emotional needs. You can’t be the best source of support for your loved one if you’re not taking care of yourself. Follow a healthy diet, exercise, and sleep plan. If you feel like you could benefit from talking to a professional, make an appointment with a therapist or counselor. 

Set reasonable expectations. Recovery from binge-eating disorder is a long process. Treatment is just one step in your loved one’s recovery journey. Don’t expect the problem to be resolved immediately. Also, don’t expect your loved one’s eating disorder recovery to be a linear experience. She will have both successes and setbacks along the way. 

Above all else, plan to be a source of continued love and support before, during, and after your loved one’s time in treatment. With your assistance, professional treatment, and a dedicated effort on her part, your loved one can overcome binge-eating disorder and experience the healthier future that she deserves.