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How to confront someone

who has an eating disorder

C Concern The reason you are confronting: you care about the mental, physical and nutritional needs of the person
O Organize Decide who is involved; where to confront; why are you concerned about the person; how to talk to them; choose a convenient time
N Needs What will the parent/victim of an eating disorder need after the confrontation? Professional help and/or support groups need to be available.
F Face The actual confrontation. Be empathetic, but direct. Do not back down if initially the parent/ victim denies problem.


Respond By listening carefully
O Offer Help and suggestions. You may want to encourage parent/victim of eating disorder to contact you when the need to talk to someone arises.
N Negotiate Another time to talk and a time span to seek professional help


Time Remember to stress that recovery takes time and patience. However, the parent/victim of an eating disorder has a lot to gain by that process and a lot to lose if parent/victim chooses to remain in denial.

When confronting a parent/person with eating disorders, it is important to have a plan. It can be difficult due to denial. However, if a person does deny the problem, the seed has been planted. At some time in the future, the problem will be recognized and admitted. Remember: they need not to feel guilty - either about having or being a parent, friend, spouse or friend of person with an eating disorder.