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Talk To Your Partner About Eating Disorder Treatment: Make Your Voice Heard

by Bonnie Gordon

An eating disorder is a medical condition that affects millions of people, but yet, it is a condition that often seems to escape attention. This condition is sometimes ignored because people do not see it, but often, it is because people do not want to address it. 

In fact, it is often a challenge to bring up the idea of treatment to a spouse or partner. However, your ability to make your voice heard is very important to the wellbeing of the one you love. Learn what you can do to make your voice heard.

Focus on Awareness Not Blame

When you decide to have a discussion with your loved one about their eating disorder, you must make the conversation about awareness. It should not be about blame.

For example, you want to let them know that you have recognized the condition, but you do not fault them for their actions. Your spouse or partner likely already feels bad about their suffering and blame from you will send them further in the wrong direction, which is not helpful.

Be Informed on Treatment

Make sure you have an idea of what treatment looks like. An important thing to remember about eating disorders is that not only are there different types of disorders, but there are also different triggers or risk-factors for each person. For this reason, treatment varies widely.

You want to be informed so that you know how to help. For example, with binge eating, certain foods often serve as a trigger. The dietitian may then recommend that these foods not be kept in the house. You want to know the treatment process so that you know how to help.

Be an Active Participant

You should also aim to be an active participant in your loved one's treatment journey. For example, some treatment programs allow close family members to join the participant in certain sessions. If this opportunity is extended and your partner wants you to come, make it a point to be there.

Some programs also host group sessions for partners and caregivers of individuals who suffer from eating disorders. These sessions offer you information on more ways to help your loved one and also get the support you might not have realized you needed. 

Remember, treatment and the road to recovery is not a short journey; it will take time. Make sure you are not just committing to speaking up, but that you will also be there as your loved one takes this path.

For more information, contact an eating disorder treatment center in your area.