6 Tips for Being Supportive When Someone Has an Eating Disorder

Eating disorders are a serious form of mental illness that can have a tremendous negative impact on an individual’s life. So, if someone close to you is struggling with an eating disorder, it’s essential to be supportive and understanding.

When someone has an eating disorder, it’s common to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. That’s why it’s important to know how to be supportive and provide the best possible support to your loved one.

Here are some tips for being supportive when someone has an eating disorder:

1. Listen Without Judging

When someone is struggling with an eating disorder, it’s important to listen to them without judgment. Don’t criticize or make assumptions about their situation. Instead, focus on understanding their thoughts and feelings. It’s best to let the person express their feelings and try to understand where they’re coming from. Don’t try to solve their problems or offer advice unless they ask for it. 

2. Acknowledge Their Struggles

Acknowledging the struggles of someone with an eating disorder can be a powerful way to show your support. Let them know that you recognize their pain and that you want to help in any way you can. Even if you don’t understand their situation, let them know that you’re there for them and that you care.

3. Educate Yourself About Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are complex issues, and it’s vital to have an understanding of them before you can offer meaningful help. Learn about the various types of eating disorders and the signs and symptoms to look out for. Having a better understanding of the disorder can help you provide more effective support.

4. Show Compassion

Compassion is a powerful tool when it comes to supporting someone with an eating disorder. Showing compassion means being understanding, kind, and sympathetic. Let them know that you care about them and that you are there for them no matter what. Showing compassion will help them feel more comfortable talking about their struggles and can even help them feel more motivated to seek treatment.

5. Encourage Healthy Habits

Encouraging healthy habits is one of the most important things you can do to help someone with an eating disorder. Offer to go for a walk together, plan healthy meals, and encourage them to get involved in activities that don’t involve food. Help them find ways to stay active, and remind them of the importance of getting enough rest.

6. Seek Professional Help

Finally, it’s important to seek professional help if you’re concerned about someone’s eating disorder. A qualified therapist or dietitian can help them understand the underlying causes of their disorder, and develop effective coping strategies. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you’re worried about someone’s health.


Eating disorders are serious mental health conditions that can have a serious impact on someone’s physical and mental health. If you’re worried about someone with an eating disorder, it’s important to take action to help them. Show your support, listen to them, and encourage healthy habits. Finally, don’t hesitate to seek professional help to ensure they get the help they need.

If you know someone who is struggling with an eating disorder, calling a board-certified Fresno psychiatrist can be of great help to them. That’s what Sierra Meadows Behavioral Health is here for. We are a community behavioral health center in Fresno, providing psychiatric services, counseling, and more in a safe and supportive environment. Our team of professionals is here to help you or your loved one get the care they need. Contact us today to learn more.