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When Someone You Love Has an Eating Disorder

One point to keep in mind above all others is that your friend or family member can completely recover. They can become confident, capable, successful people. They can become well!

How Can You Help?

Learn about the causes, impacts, and treatments of eating disorders through literature, books, seminars, and the internet.

Eating Disorder Warning Signs Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder.

Eating Disorder Myths Many people mistakenly believe that eating disorders are only dangerous for people who are seriously underweight, but eating disorder come in many shapes and sizes.

Positive Strategies for Parents Learn how parents and family members can help a wife, daughter or sister survive an eating disorder.

"Dos" and "Don'ts" for Friends and Family What to do — and not do — when someone you love has an eating disorder.

Additional Resources for Friends and Family

What can you do if you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, body image issues, depression, and low self-esteem?

One of the first things to do is to take care of yourself either by finding a good therapist or a local support group. You can read the book, "Surviving an Eating Disorder: Strategies for Families and Friends" by Michele Siegel, PhD, Judith Brisman, PhD, and Margot Weinshel, MSW. This is an excellent book and will be a tremendous support in helping you learn appropriate ways of dealing with your loved one.

Another excellent book is "Overcoming Binge Eating" by Dr. Christopher Fairburn. This book is excellent for anyone struggling with weight issues and binge eating.

For referrals, you can visit (including referrals for free treatment offered by certain facilities that have received government grant money). You can also find referrals at

NEDA Helpline: Call 1-800-931-2237 (Monday through Thursday 11:00am-9:00pm / Friday 11:00am-5:00pm Eastern Standard Time).