Welcome to Valenta! You have made a difficult, but important first step in seeking health for your loved one with an eating disorder. Eating Disorders are not a choice and recovery is not about placing blame, guilt, or shame. Recovery is not about finding “fault” with family members or the one who is suffering from the illness. The treatment of Eating Disorders requires a team and a family/social support based approach to ensure long-term recovery. At Valenta, we do just that – including appropriate family members in the understanding, treatment and recovery process. We believe the inclusion of family, both during and after your time at Valenta is important. We will work with you and your family for your successful recovery.
Eating disorders are complicated illnesses that can take a toll on family relationships and communication. Family members and significant others are almost always affected by an eating disorder. Damaged relationships and impaired communication can lead to sadness and isolation for both the individual with the eating disorder and the others affected by it. Family and friends can play a role in supporting and guiding our patients in the recovery process. We encourage and invite family and friends to become involved in the patient’s treatment, if appropriate.
If you know someone who is depressed, it affects you too. The most important thing you can do is help your friend or relative get information and treatment. Valenta offers complimentary assessments to start the process of recovery.
To help your friend or relative:
- Offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.
- Talk to him or her and listen carefully.
- Avoid dismissing feelings, but point out realities and offer hope.
- Never ignore comments about suicide. Report them to your loved one’s therapist or doctor.
- Invite them out for walks, outings and other activities. Keep trying if they decline, but don’t push them to take on too much too soon.
- Provide assistance in getting to treatment.
- Remind your loved one that with time and treatment, recovery is possible.