Ask friendship questions or talk about what's going on in your friendships.

EricaxLaLa's picture

I'm worried my best friend is developing an eating disorder. She's eating less, and if she does eat it's really healthy food. Also, she is going to the gym everyday for like two hours so she is burning way too many calories rather than intaking. She's getting REALLY skinny. Once she told me that she considered throwing up to be a size 0. I honestly don't know what to do. Should I keep her secret or should I talk to someone. If so, who? I don't know her parents well enough.
Kristine3's picture

I think that you should definitely talk to someone. Being a survivor, you and I both know how deadly and miserable this disorder is. So, ask yourself, would you want your friend to go through the same thing that you did? I know that it is extremely hard to tell someone because your friend may be really mad if you do, but, trust me, she will thank you one day when she experiences the benefits of being free, happy, healthy, and recovered. I would talk to her directly first and, if you truly believe that she is developing an eating disorder, talk to someone right away; I recommend a responsible adult such as your school counselor, or someone who has knowledge about mental illness.

cmaddie's picture

Hi EricaxLaLa, From what you've described, it does sound like your friend is going down a dangerous road with the way she is talking about food and weight. You are right to be concerned and you're a good friend for taking the time to reach out for support. It's important not to keep this to yourself. Proud2Bme has a tip sheet with advice on how to talk to a friend. I'm pasting it below. It is important to talk to an adult about what's going on. As a start, when you talk to your friend about why you're worried, you can offer to go with her and be there with her/hold her hand to talk to her parents, a teacher or a school counselor. If you are worried about your friend’s eating behaviors or attitudes, it is important to express your concerns in a loving and supportive way. It is also necessary to discuss your worries early on, rather than waiting until your friend has endured many of the damaging physical and emotional effects of eating disorders. In a private and relaxed setting, talk to your friend in a calm and caring way about the specific things you have seen or felt that have caused you to worry. What to Say—Step by Step --Set a time to talk. Set aside a time for a private, respectful meeting with your friend to discuss your concerns openly and honestly in a caring, supportive way. Make sure you will be some place away from distractions. --Communicate your concerns. Share your memories of specific times when you felt concerned about your friend’s eating or exercise behaviors. Explain that you think these things may indicate that there could be a problem that needs professional attention. --Ask your friend to explore these concerns with a counselor, doctor, nutritionist, or other health professional who is knowledgeable about eating disorders. If you feel comfort- able doing so, offer to help your friend make an appointment or accompany your friend on their first visit. --Avoid conflicts or a battle of wills with your friend. If your friend refuses to acknowl- edge that there is a problem, or any reason for you to be concerned, restate your feelings and the reasons for them and leave yourself open and available as a supportive listener. --Avoid placing shame, blame, or guilt on your friend regarding their actions or attitudes. Do not use accusatory “you” statements such as, “You just need to eat.” Or, “You are act- ing irresponsibly.” Instead, use “I” statements. For example: “I’m concerned about you be- cause you refuse to eat breakfast or lunch.” Or, “It makes me afraid to hear you vomiting.” --Avoid giving simple solutions. For example, “If you’d just stop, then everything would be fine!” --Express your continued support. Remind your friend that you care and want your friend to be healthy and happy. --After talking with your friend, if you are still concerned with their health and safety, find a trusted adult or medical professional to talk to. This is probably a challenging time for both of you. It could be helpful for you, as well as your friend, to discuss your concerns and seek assistance and support from a professional. Need more advice? Call the NEDA Helpline at 800-931-2237 (they also have a click to chat option on the website:
marty789's picture

It is really important to have friends. They are just the second family you can lean on if you have a problem. - Green Water Technologies

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

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