Dr. Ross describes the steps a family member or friend can take to help a loved one who is suffering with anorexia nervosa.
Well, there are a number of things that you can do, but the most important is not to be judgmental. The second is to listen and allow the person to tell you openly and honestly what they are struggling with. And if you listen, you will hear people who are suffering with anorexia talk about this intense fear of gaining weight. They will talk about certain body parts that trouble them; their belly or their thighs. They will talk about how they feel that they won’t be able to live the kind of life they want to live if they aren’t thinner. So this desire, this intense desire is very emotionally based and it’s important to be able to be a listener to them so that they can reveal what’s needed for you to help them.
And then after you find out what’s going on, the next step really is to get help, and there are many places that you can get help, including the organizations that work with people with anorexia, such as the National Eating Disorder Association that has a website, has a lot of information for families about how to deal with anorexia.
About Dr. Ross, M.D., M.P.H.:
Dr. Carolyn Ross, M.D., M.P.H., completed her undergraduate degree in Modern Foreign Languages at Purdue University and worked as a full-time mother of her two older sons before returning to school to complete her pre-med requirements. She then went to the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Ross’s practice experience after medical school helped fuel her interest in understanding what makes people heal as she saw that most of her patients’ medical problems were related to lifestyle habits and the stresses of modern living. In searching for a better way to address these issues, Dr. Ross began to explore complementary and alternative therapies and the use of herbs and supplements for her patients. She then completed a residency in Preventive Medicine at Loma Linda University and then set up practice in San Diego, California where she eventually opened three women’s centers where she practiced primary care and office gynecology.