Care for Yourself and Family

It is important to remember that although families neither cause nor cure eating disorders, they can be severely affected. Consider these suggestions for how your family can survive the effects of an eating disorder


  • Write down specific instances of problematic behavior.
  • Educate yourself and other family members about eating disorders.
  • Get advice from mental health and medical professionals who are knowledgeable about eating disorders.
  • Share your concerns directly with the person in a calm, caring manner.

  • Communicate (1) the seriousness of your concern, (2) your conviction that treatment is necessary and (3) your willingness to provide emotional, financial or other practical support.
  • Demonstrate responsibility, authority and wisdom in getting treatment for minors with eating disorders.
  • Realize the importance of patience. Recovery is a gradual process.
  • Know that treatment should address the biological, psychological, behavioral, social and cultural aspects of the disorder.


  • Neglect the support of others who have observed similar problematic behavior.
  • Discuss your concerns with the person without recommending a course of treatment or help.
  • Put the needs of the individual with the eating disorder before your own.
  • Expect the person to acknowledge the problem. Most often, he/she will feel threatened at the thought of giving up the dysfunctional eating and behavior.
  • Allow the person to disrupt your life through manipulation, arguments, threats, blame, guilt, bribes or resentment.
  • Resist family therapy; it is usually an important part of treatment.
  • Allow yourself to be programmed by negative influences. Love your relative or friend for himself/herself, not appearance, body weight or achievement. 

Learn More About The Laureate Eating Disorders Program

Please call us with questions at 918-491-3702. If you’re outside the Tulsa metro area, please call 800-322-5173. There is no cost for the screening call and no obligation to proceed with treatment.