If you or someone you know is a person who exhibits a physiological need to eat is most likely experiencing the sensation of addiction to drugs, alcohol, or food, the best first step may be to contact a drug and alcohol counselor.
First off, we should start with the basics: addiction is a family disease and it doesn’t go away by itself.
That means that an addict’s co-dependent family members, friends and loved ones need support too!
You can find out how in this article titled “The Next 20 Steps To Take For A Loved One Who’s An Addict”.
The steps include getting professional counseling and other support from a non-family member. The importance of taking these steps may help a family member, friend or loved one to seek professional help during the first stage of recovery.
Here are the 20 Things To Immediately Do About a person who exhibits a physiological need to eat :
1. Recognise the signs.
Is your loved one, spouse, or friend consistently late to appointments, late to work, out of control with food and snacking? Are they always saying things like “I’m too fat,” “I can’t quit you,” or speaking about wanting to lose weight?
2. Take action immediately.
Remove access to that food or other addictive substance. Take away their computers/TV/cell phone if it’s a mobile device which is primarily used for something other than eating/drinking/using drugs/alcohol etc.
3. Contact a professional.
Find an unbiased, non-judgmental therapist, counselor, life coach or nutritionist who understands addiction.
Confrontation is not recommended at this point unless you are both in therapy together. If you are the co-dependent of an addict then get support for yourself too!
4. Make a list.
Make a list of all the reasons why you love and care for this person, then make a list of all the reasons why they need to seek professional help.
5. Tell them the truth.
Tell them that you love them, but you want them to get professional help. Mention that your love for this person comes with boundaries and consequences to their actions.
Make sure they know you will be supportive financially should they get help.
6. Suffer the consequences.
Assume a no-talk, walking away or other non-negotiable consequence to addictive behaviors.
This means that if they are out of control with their eating/drinking/using, etc., don’t deal with it! Don’t play games and avoid conflict by discussing things such as “I can stop any time,” or “It’s just stress,” because you’ll never get anywhere this way! Negotiate what other things you can do when confronted with severe addictive behaviors, such as driving to a 12 step meeting and leaving your phone in the car.
7. Get rid of any and everything that resembles that substance, food or behavior.
Empty your refrigerator or cupboards of anything that looks like a food, drink, activity or object related to the addiction.
8. Get someone involved who can help.
Get a support person, family member, friend or spouse involved who you trust and can speak freely with – someone who can provide you with an unbiased opinion and not be affected by whatever addiction issues your loved one has going on right now.
9. Be clear about what you can and can’t do for this person.
Offer to do things that DON’T involve talking, eating or drinking.
10. Help your loved one get some sleep.
After working through some issues, they’ll need rest. Offer to get them some supplements or natural remedies to help with sleep if they’re not getting enough.
11. Don’t get angry with your loved one.
If after dealing with the situation in steps 1-10, your loved one refuses treatment or insists on using/eating/drinking more of something that you can’t allow, smile and say “No. I’m sorry. I can’t do that anymore.”
12. Remember that this is a journey.
While it may seem impossible to let go of the addiction, remember that this is a journey and it will get better. It may take a few weeks or months, but things WILL get better!
13. The more you do something meant to help your loved one, the less you have to do it yourself.
For example: take time to read Loving Someone With A Chemical Addiction free ebook.
14. When the person has an anxiety attack, go with them.
Remind yourself that they still think it’s okay to do this stuff and this is the first time they’ve ever had to deal with something like this.
15. Accept that you’re being called by God to be a support system too.
Accept that you’re being called to love this person and encourage them, pray for them and be patient with them.
Many times we want to force ourselves on people who aren’t ready, aren’t willing or simply don’t know what they need.
16. Take care of yourself too.
Because sometimes we can become so overwhelmed we may not realize how we’re caring for ourselves through this as well as caring for our loved ones as they try to deal with their addiction issues.
17. Surround yourself with people who support your choices.
We all need a support system to help us through this! Surround yourself with those who will encourage you and encourage them as well.
It may be difficult to let go of the behaviors that have been your crutch through life, but choosing to let those behaviors go can be one of the most freeing experiences you’ve ever had.
18. Remember that recovery is a journey, not an overnight fix.
It’s important to remember that there’s no such thing as an overnight fix for any kind of addiction. And it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to recover from ANY type of addiction.
19. Offer to take care of their pets while they’re getting help.
It’s important to be included in their recovery. If they’ve been using, driving home and caring for their pets all day, offer to help out by taking care of their pets for them.
20. Take a good look at how you relate to others.
As a care-group member, I’m very familiar with the way people with addictions treat those around them as well as those who try to help them through recovery from those same addictions.