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How do I Perform an Anorexia Intervention?

By Jacob Queen
Updated May 17, 2024
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If you choose to perform an anorexia intervention for someone, you generally need to be very careful how you handle it. Most experts suggest that a trained professional should be consulted first, and in most cases, that individual should be present during the intervention. Performing an anorexia intervention involves approaching the anorexic person with a group of loved ones who confront the individual with the facts about anorexia and the dangers it poses. The ultimate goal is to convince the anorexic person that he or she has a problem and get the person to agree to a treatment program.

During an anorexia intervention, most experts recommend a loving and caring tone, but it is also usually important to be firm. It may take some time to convince people that they actually have a problem. They may deny that their bodies are too thin, and they might even try to suggest that they are actually fat. This kind of denial is generally part of being anorexic. The intervention expert who is consulted can help everyone involved prepare their behaviors so they don’t overwhelm the individual.

Finding the right expert can be important because many people may offer to help supervise an anorexia intervention, but they aren’t all necessarily experienced. Some mental health experts have a lot more experience treating people with anorexia, and an intervention can be a very delicate operation. If possible, it's generally better to find someone who specializes specifically in eating disorders, or at least someone with a long history of treating people with anorexia.

Before performing an anorexia intervention, experts recommend planning out every detail possible. This usually includes everything from the specific statements each person will make, to the exact location of the treatment facility that will be recommended. It is generally important to make contingency plans for things that might go wrong, and there is an expectation that the anorexic person will probably initially react in an unpleasant way.

In many cases, the anorexic person may lash out at the participants during the anorexia intervention. It's not uncommon for people to feel a great deal of resentment toward those who confront them with their problems. It’s also relatively common for any anger to eventually turn into feelings of rejection, and this can lead to extreme melancholy. Dealing with these emotional swings effectively can be the difference between an effective intervention and a failed one.

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