Sharing personal experiences with eating disorders in an effort to assist those currently struggling can be life saving. But it can also do more harm than good if not relayed in the right way.
Emma Shakarshy, the Youth Outreach Coordinator at Proud2BMe, spoke to HuffPost Live on Wednesday about the importance of relaying eating disorder narratives in a way that rules out mentioning details that could possibly trigger the person listening.
Her first suggestion? Avoiding specific details.
"'I cut out blank food' or 'I ran blah miles a day' -- we cut out numbers altogether because we just don't feel like that's a useful way to share stories responsibly," she said.
Additionally, Shakarshy recommends having a knowledge of helpful resources to provide after telling one's story, just in case a possible trigger was set off unknowingly.
"Eating disorders and triggers can look different for every person, so just putting yourself in that person's shoes, finding pro-recovery outlets that really take into account those triggers so you don't have to be consciously thinking of them all the time, [is helpful]" she urged.
Are you struggling with an eating disorder or do you know someone who is? Call the National Eating Disorders Association's toll-free helpline for support: (800)-931-2237.
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