Mistakes To Avoid When Dealing With An Anorexic Spouse

If you have a husband or a wife who has been diagnosed with anorexia, then it is best for your loved one to receive care at a special treatment center. This also means that you need to be as supportive as possible when it comes to dealing with your spouse on a personal level. Unfortunately, there are a few mistakes that you may make when you visit your loved one at the center. Keep reading to learn what they are and what you might want to try instead.

Mistake - Complimenting Physical Appearance

Anorexia is an extremely complicated disorder that involves many different emotions, triggers, and coping mechanisms. For this reason, the disease does not solely involve the physical appearance, but it also deals with such things as control, anxiety, depression, and an unhealthy or unnatural sense of self. For this reason, a simple comment about your spouse's appearance may be interpreted the wrong way and may be used as an excuse to continue with unhealthy eating and exercise habits.

For example, if you tell your spouse that they look good physically, they may take this as a sign that they have gained weight and need to start losing. Alternatively, they may think that you "approve" of their appearance and may use this as an excuse to continue with food avoidance. 

Instead of making comments about your spouse's appearance, try to focus on positives that do not have anything to do with the way they look. Compliment your spouse's kindness, inner strength, or good communication skills. You can also make sure that they know you appreciate them as a spouse, parent to your children, pet owner, teacher, or as a success in a different role.

Mistake - Force Feeding

Many people with anorexia are quite unhealthy, and the malnutrition can appear in many ways. You may notice dry, scabbed, and broken skin and you may also see your spouse's hair falling out. This can be extremely scary and unsettling. Nutrition and health are often the two biggest concerns when it comes to the professionals at an anorexia treatment center. There are some force-feeding techniques that can be used in severe and desperate situations. However, this may not be necessary. 

In cases where your spouse is not at immediate risk of dying, the professionals will do everything in their power to make sure your spouse is eating three well-balanced meals each day. In many situations, coercion may be necessary where perks or other incentives are utilized. The process may be slow, so you will need to be on the same page with the staff in regards to feedings. You should never try to force-feed on your own or this may cause your spouse to slide back from the progress they have made. 

For more information, contact an anorexia treatment center.

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