How to Help Boost an Anorexic’s Self Esteem

One of the core characteristics of anorexia is a deep dissatisfaction with body image.

From an outsider’s perspective, it may seem like anorexia is a self-esteem issue, but the condition is far more complicated than that.

If you want to help a friend or loved one suffering from anorexia, there are certain ways you can support this person, but ultimately self-worth is something that can only come from within.

Help him or her find help.

Boosting an anorexic’s self-esteem is not your responsibility, but the best way you can help this person is to get him or her on the road to recovery with the assistance of a professional.

Trained counselors, psychologists or other mental health professionals can do the best job at helping someone with anorexia repair broken self-esteem or rebuild a sense of confidence.

This process doesn’t happen overnight and it involves treating the underlying emotional and behavioral patterns that cause anorexia to manifest in the first place.

Focus on non-physical attributes.

For someone with anorexia, finding validation usually comes from how they look. Yet perpetuating this by giving personal compliments about this person’s physical appearance doesn’t help.

If you want to support this person’s sense of self-worth, focus on highlighting his or her non-physical assets or attributes.

Express how or why this person is special and meaningful to you.

This corresponds with the idea that recovery from anorexia involves finding self-esteem that is not rooted in how one looks.

Set a good example.

One area that is completely within your control is your own behavior.

Make sure to set a good example for your friend or loved one by exhibiting high self-esteem yourself.

Don’t make negative comments about your own appearance, weight or body size.

Your own healthy attitudes and behaviors will help to reflect a positive way of relating to your body that might be inspiring for your loved one.

Help Guide

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

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