The Role of the Educator:
~Some "don'ts" for eduacators and other people concerned about a person with an eating disorder~
1. Don't cast a net of awe and wonder around the existence of an eating disorder: Keep the focus on inefficiency, misery, alienation, and disturbance
2. Don't oversimlify. Avoid thinking or saying things such as "Well, eating disorders are just an 'addiction' like alcholism" or "All you have to do is satrt exceping yourself as you are."
3. Don't imply that bulimia nervosa, becasue it is often associated with "normal weight," is somehow less serious than anorexia nervosa.
4. Don't be judgemental, e.g., don't teel the person that what they are doing is "sick" or "stupid" or "self - destructive."
5. Don't give advice about weight loss or exercise or appearence.
6. Don't confront the person with a group of people, all of whom are firing accusations at the person.
7. Don't diagnose: keep that focus on inefficiency, misery, alienation, and disturbance.
8. Don't become the person's therapist, savior, or victim. In this regard, do not "promise to keep this a secret no matter what."
9. Don't get into an argument or battle of wills. If the person denies having a problem, simply and calmly:
(a) Repeat what you have have observed, i.e., your evidence of the problem;
(b) Repeat your concern about the person's health and well-being;
(c) Repeat your conviction that the circumstance should at least be evaluated by a counselor or therapist.
(d) End the conversation if it is going no where or if either party becomes upset. This stalemate suggests that the person seeking the help needs to consult a professional;
(e) Take any actions necessary for you to carry out your responsibilities or to protect your-self;
(f) If possible, leave the door open for further conversations.
10. Don't be inactive during an emergency: if the person is throwing up several times a ay, or passing out, or complaining of chest pauin, or is suicidal, get help immediately.
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