Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Friday, April 7, 2017

What to do if you see someone who is sick? How to help.

Dear Izzy -- and/or Izzy's readers,
What do you think one should do if one sees someone who is very, very thin and one is afraid for their life, but one doesn't know them? What about if it is someone one sees often (eg in the street or in a shop), but one doesn't know them? (But even if it is someone one only sees once? or sees online? -- though I think those situations are less complicated.)
What do you think is right and wrong in these situations?
I am recovered now, and that gives me more confidence, but I still don't know that I would know how to approach this, and it has come up a few times in the past?


This is situations i have been in many times in my life and it has to hard to know what to do. 

First off i like to think that i cant judge someone just by the way they look. Of course if someone is extremely underweight it can be easy to jump to the conclusion that that person is sick/has an eating disorder, which might be the case but it might not. However sometimes you *just know* and especially if you have had an eating disorder in the past then its easier to sort of "see" if someone else is sick.

Its difficult to know how to react when you see someone who you think might be suffering or struggling. Because sometimes people just need someone to see them. That if you go up to the person and ask if they are ok, that might be exactly what the suffering person needs... to realise that they are seen and someone cares. But also it can cause problems if the person isnt sick or you might make the person uncomfortable or angry. But also you have no idea whether the person is recieving help or not.... 

You wouldnt just go up to someone who is overweight and ask them if they are ok and need help/see a doctor. So i dont think you should do the same thing to someone who is skinny, even if you may want to.

How i think is that if its just a random person i see then there isnt much i can do. I dont know the person, i dont know their life or their struggles so all i can do is hope that they are recieving help.

However i have seen people at different gyms ive been to where i have suspected the person has been sick/had disordered behaviours and then i have mentioned it to the gym staff. It is not my problem or duty to talk to the person directly and that can just do more harm, so instead talking to the staff at the gym and letting them take over and take action is the best step. In the past there have been one or two who have had their gym cards cancelled because than one person had talked to the staff about the persons gym behaviour/very frequent and long gym visits.

If it comes to someone in your class being sick, then maybe you can talk to a counselor in the school and ask them to contact the person.Because you never know... maybe the person is already talking to the counselor or to someone else. But if it is someone in your class then it can be *easier* to talk to them and just mention that you have noticed their behaviour or just ask if they are ok or need to talk or hang out sometime... that might be exactly the type of thing the person needs to hear.

If it comes to seeing someone frequently in the store or maybe out walking/running then maybe just a "Hello" and start a conversation with them.... sometimes people just need to realise that they are seen. Of course the conversation might not go anywhere, but maybe it can lead to some type of contact. HOWEVER you have to realise that you can not jump into someone elses business just like that. If you dont know the person then there really isnt much you can do.

For example i have followed people online who i have suspected might be sick and are denying it... but then i have reaised that 1) i dont even know the person and i shouldnt judge them and 2) it is up to the person themselves to seek help if they are sick and most importantly it is their friends and family who need to do something if the person is struggling. Random messages or comments from a stranger online wont help or do anything. Unless its just a "if you ever need to talk, you can message me"... that type of comment can be ok.

Just like when i got a lot of comments from people telling me that i had relapsed last summer, you have to realise that those comments didnt do anything but make me sad. I had not relapsed and even if i had, it would have been up to my family to step in and help and not just random strangers online. I was of course depressed and my family stepped in to help me, but i hadnt relapsed with an eating disorder.


I think it can be good to also ask "what would have helped me when i was sick?".... would it have helped if a stranger came up to you in the street and tried to help you with your eating disorder. Or if someone you just saw now and again tried to come up and give you advice.... or maybe it would have helped if someone came up to you and just said "if you ever need to talk im here". Of course what helps one person can be very different from what would help another person,

It can be easy to feel like you need to help everyone. I often feel that way and can feel so overwhelmed as i want to help everyone but there are so many people who are sick.But also at times when i see someone who i suspect might be sick either from the way they look (even if you shouldnt judge or jump to conclusions) or because of their behaviour, i just want to hug them and help them recover. But i know i cant do that... instead i know that in the future people can come to me and seek for help when they want it/are ready for it, and then i can help. But until then i can just do my best with what i am doing now, and i know that it most likely wont help going up to strangers and trying to help them.

It is hard to know what to do and everycase is different, but you have to make the decisions from what you think might be most helpful.

If anyone has any comments or thoughts about this topic comment below. Or comment how you have/would react in these situations or what would have/would help you in the situation, i.e if someone came up to you?


4 comments:

  1. You're right that it's really hard to know whether to say anything. I'm not sure what i would've thought if someone had randomly come up to me on the street and said about it, though I was hearing it a lot from my mum anyway. One thing I found weird when I was ill is that apparently all my friends were worrying about me behind my back but yet reinforcing my ed to my face by like complimenting me on being so healthy and just having fruit as a snack, or eating very little when they were eating with me - in fact I often ate more than one of my friends always seemed to yet she didn't lose loads of weight so she was obviously lying to me.... and just why?? Even if you're not going to tell me to my face at least don't make it worse, I kind of wish they had said something because it took a long time to believe just my mum.
    And then since I've been in recovery I do feel like I'm hyper sensitive to watching other people and seeing if anyone has eds, and though I would be way to shy to talk to a stranger in person I did message someone online who had the same fandom blog as me but had started reblogging some of those scary pro anorexic bloggers, but she was just like thanks for your concern but I'm fine. But who knows maybe it might've helped a little...

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    1. I know what you mean by what the friends do. I had a kinda friend who at a time told me I was dangerously thin, and at another time she said she wished to look like me. And way too many people complimented me, saying I looked good/better while I was underweight, which just reassured my ED that it can go on all the same... But I don't care anymore, I'm almost weight restored, I look 'normal'but I don't feel fat(only on bad days), and recently I have been to my weekly visit in the hospital ward, and I was actually complimented by a sick girl, she told me I was beatyful, and I'm sure she was not referring to my size, but to my overall appearance and azra I guess...
      So I just wanted to write that while you are down there, those conpliments just feed your ED, but once kinda recovered, those compliments change, and they are much more honest, and not just about your body but about your self:)

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  2. There was an item on breakfast television about this just recently. A lady ran a web site for EDs and often saw a very thin girl in her local supermarket so one time she saw her she dropped her website card into her shopping basket. The girl must have gone on the website because she eventually made contact with the lady who helped her with her ED.
    It is a very hard situation to be in because you want to say something and offer help but don`t know for sure even if there is a problem. I think doing what this lady did worked because she had given the girl an option - if she had a problem there was help available but if there wasn't/ or she didn't want to accept help that put her in charge of the situation.
    Apparently the girl and the web site owner became great friends and the girl later said that by doing what that lady did that day saved her life.

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    1. Thhat is definitely a good option if you are qualified and have qualifications to help as well as a business card. Because as you say, then you arent just going up to someone and telling them they need help if they infact dont have an eating disorder. But instead with a subtle hint, giving them the choice to seek help if they need it.

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