10 tips for carers when living with a loved one suffering from anorexia nervosa

  1. Create a safe and supportive environment, trying to understand that the sufferer does not want to have the mental illness just as much as you do not want them to have it.
  2. Be non-judgemental and listen without prejudice, no matter how difficult the situation.
  3. Find someone you trust who you can talk to and open up with so all the negative feelings do not build up inside.
  4. Don’t be afraid to talk about the condition, neither of you can move forward in the relationship if it is being swept under the rug.
  5. Don’t be afraid to seek advice. You’re not going to have all the answers or “know how” to handle some situations so seeking some outside information or advice is important.
  6. Acceptance, accept that your loved one is suffering from a mental illness, but that they are still inside and still the person you know.
  7. Be patient with the sufferer and make sure both parties are not afraid to try and laugh and make happiness instead of stress in situations. Positivity goes a long way.
  8. Accept what the sufferer is saying is very real to them however irrational it sounds to you.
  9. Know that even if someone doesn’t look poorly on the outside they may well still be really suffering on the inside. Remember anorexia nervosa is a mental illness, even thought it has physical symptoms.
  10. Do not lose hope. Never accepting that this is as good as it gets, because it can always get better.