Thanksgiving can be a difficult time for people with eating disorders

Hadas Kuznits
November 21, 2018 - 5:17 pm



PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Thanksgiving can be triggering for people who struggle with eating disorders. 

Dr. Samantha DeCaro, assistant clinical director at the Renfrew Center in Philadelphia, said this can be a difficult time for those recovering from an eating disorder.

"Around Thanksgiving, this can be a really stressful time for someone who has an eating disorder because it's all centered around food," she added.

Social interactions can be stressful too, "especially when those interactions involve any kind of diet talk or comments or questions about appearance, about weight."

DeCaro said the holidays can bring up a lot of different emotions, even for people who do not have disorders.

"Family and friends have good intentions at heart and they want to talk about that and they want to ask questions like, 'What are you going to eat today?' or 'Have you eaten today?' and actually, these comments are really never helpful."

If you're looking for a way to interact with a family member who is recovering from an eating disorder, DeCaro advised that those topics should be off-limits.

"If you really do want to know how someone is doing, just ask how they're feeling."

And for those trying to steer away from those prying questions, it can be as simple as changing the subject, "or just saying, 'I am really not interested in talking about that' or 'It's not helpful for me to talk about that.' "