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Friend has an ED: what to do?

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#1 hypomargoteros



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Posted 01 August 2020 - 06:51 AM

TL;DR close friend told me she suspects she has an eating disorder and describes it exactly like I feel. How can I help her??

I was out for drinks with a few people last week, some of them close friends. Since there's still social distancing, we have to sit in pairs with 1.5 metres between the pairs so you either have to speak really loudly or just talk to 1 person. I sat next to a friend and (quite unexpectedly) she leaned over and quietly said "I think I have some sort of eating disorder" and then more casually "well, that's been said at least"
I think she said it to me because I've been losing a lot of weight and people are noticing and urging me to eat, so it's logical she'd assume I would understand. She explained it to me as "not like anorexia, I don't think I'm fat at all but I just want to weigh less" and I said "I understand completely, neither of us would ever be described as fat but it's so satisfying and addicting to watch the number on the scale go down. I may be skinny but I could be SKINNIER" and she said "YES exactly" and she said that she did love food a lot and she didn't really have fear foods or anything like that. And that was mainly the end of it. She sent me a picture of her dinner that evening but the reason for that also partly was that it was a particularly hard dish to make and she does it perfectly every time and I have expressed my admiration for that multiple times in the past :'-)

But cut to the chase, I don't know how/if I can help her. Part of me is excited there's someone who experiences the same issues as me, and I want to share memes with like pictures of toddlers going "haha goal weight" (of course I am NOT doing that). She doesn't do the thing where she brags about how little she's eaten that day (I have friends who do this, but that's a whole different rant) and there's no envy/jealousy/competition between us AT ALL, probably also because I am a gay man and she is a woman so there's no bit of envy from either of us to look like the other. But I don't want her to be dragged into something because I know eating disorders are extremely harmful and exhausting. And she has already lost a noticeable amount of weight.

So yes basically. Does anyone have any advice? I want to help her but I don't want it to be mentioned all the time of course (we do talk about way other things a lot, this has only come up once).
  • CrazyStarvingArtist likes this


#2 CrazyStarvingArtist


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Posted 01 August 2020 - 06:58 AM

I really really wish I knew. All I can suggest is to do what you would've wanted someone to do for you. Whatever that is depends on your experience, of course.
  • hypomargoteros likes this

▪︎SW= 46kg (21.2)
▪︎CW= 41kg (18.5)??? Currently do not know...
▪︎GW= 40kg (18)
▪︎UGW= 36kg (16.2)

Bf%= 17.5 😭😭😭

#3 P. Boyd

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 02:09 PM

I personally have never been in a situation like this before, but it seems like a wicked tough spot to be in. I would say the best thing for both you would be to still offer support, and ofc get it in return, as eating disorders can make you feel so isolated. However, I would also be sure that you don't encourage her ed behaviors as well.


It's good that neither of you brag to each other about not having eaten for certain amounts of time and stuff like that, and keeping things like that will ensure that you both will have someone who understands how it is to suffer with an ed while not encouraging one. If she comes to you and says she lost x amount of weight, for instance, don't cheer her on, but maybe ask her how she feels, physically and emotionally, so as to let her know you still care while not necessarily supporting the harmful behavior. 


This is just what I would do personally and how I'd handle the situation, but everyone is different. You know her and you seem like a really good friend and person, so I think you'll have good judgement on how to handle everything.


Good luck and stay safe xx

  • hypomargoteros likes this

HW: 130 lbs * LW: 98 lbs * CW: 109.0 lbs * GW: 100 lbs * UGW: 92 lbs


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