The college years are a time when concerns about body image, weight, dieting, and exercise are often heightened, and eating disorders or “disordered eating” may become of concern.
These concerns can impact both male and female students. It is not necessary to be able to diagnose an eating disorder before speaking to a friend or seeking advice about helping a friend.
There are multiple offices at the college prepared to help you think about how best to intervene with a friend suspected of having an eating disorder.
Remember that most eating disorders are rooted in emotional struggles, and blaming the other person will not help. Becoming the “diet police” is not at all helpful. Ask your friend to explore the behaviors of concern with a counselor, doctor, dietician, or other professional who has knowledge of eating disorders. Offer to accompany your friend to the first visit.
Avoid a conflict. If your friend denies any problems, just remind him/her of your concern and your willingness to be a support to them. Let your friend know you want him/her to be healthy and happy. If you are still concerned for your friend’s safety, find a counselor or medical professional to talk to. This person can help you think about how best to support your friend while taking care of yourself. Meanwhile, you can
At Luther College, the Health Service (563-387-1045) and Counseling Service (563-387-1375) offices are both located in Larsen Hall. Professionals in these offices can help you think about your role in seeking assistance for your friend.
The Student Life Office in Dahl Centennial Union (563-387-1020) is able to intervene more directly with students who are experiencing more advanced or urgent symptoms (see below).
Contact Student Life at (563) 387-1020, the Health Service at (563) 387-1045, or the Counseling Service at (563) 387-1375.