Worried about a friend and anorexia Watch

Anonymous #4
#21
Report 10 years ago
#21
(Original post by Anonymous)
I tired to talk to her today but it really went nowhere.

She was saying she was so achey all over and there was no reason and shed been feeling really crappy.
I said it could be something to do witht he fact shed not been eating much. at which point she exploded again into the whole I eat plenty and told us how she ate loads the day before (which in actual fact was about 300 calories if that).
And then she was going on about how she was normal wieght and so she was obviously eating enough. to which I said yes but you are trying to get that lower and losing weight which wasnt healthy and all it ended in was her saying well I eat enough to survive so I eat plenty.

I just dont know what I can do other than say "I read your freaking journal I KNOW!" when she refuses to admit to any of us that she is trying to loose such an amout of weight.
Look, I started out exactly the same as your friend - lost a stone, BMI was at 20, going on pro-ana boards, hating myself, getting encouragement from people online etc, promising myself I'd finally get 'thin'. Bla bla bla.

My friends and family saw it happening, saw me eating nothing, and they tentatively tried to say things, but I got in a strop. That's what people with eating disorders DO. If you shout at people, they get scared to confront you, so they leave you alone with your starvation. Even if you lose her as a friend, keep bringing it up. Research, know your stuff, nag, shout, beg, cry. KEEP GOING.

She can go a few ways: she'll either improve in self esteem/general life and recover. Or she'll just become a 'weird eater' i.e. Ed-NOS and struggle with body image for the long haul. Or she'll become a fully blown anorexic and lose weight to the extreme. Or she won't be able to keep up the starvation and she'll become bulimic.

The last three options are NOT acceptable because they are eating disorders and are serious. Tell her parents. She's 19, so what, she needs everyone around her to know and be looking out and making sure she knows that she DOESN'T look better when she's thinner. If my friends and family had intervened, perhaps they could have stopped me when I was just obsessively dieting. Now, its two years later and I have only just restored my weight to a BMI of 20, up from 16. I still purge three times a day though. If there's ANYTHING more you can do (i.e. referring to the b-eat website etc) to help your friend NOT become this, then do.
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εїз pinga εїз
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#22
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#22
I'll be honest - if her goal weight is 16 she's unlikely to actually get ill. Mine is 17, my step-mum's is 15. Neither of us are ill.

The problems are probably going to occur when she keeps going past the 16 mark - which she almost certainly will if she's caught the pro-ana fever.

The good thing is you still have time - I just don't know what you're going to do It's probably going to be very hard to reason with her. I would suggest trying to talk to her - but whatever you do don't push her or get angry/accusatory, or she'll see you as an enemy trying to make her fat. You're going to have to be kind and very patient.
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Anonymous #4
#23
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#23
(Original post by εїз pinga εїз)
I'll be honest - if her goal weight is 16 she's unlikely to actually get ill. Mine is 17, my step-mums is 15. Neither of us are ill.

The problems are probably going to occur when she keeps going past the 16 mark - which she almost certainly will if she's caught the pro-ana fever.

The good thing is you still have time - I just don't know what you're going to do It's probably goign to be very hard to reason with her. I would suggest trying to talk to her - but whatever you do don't push her or get angry/accusatory, or she'll see you as an enemy trying to make her fat. You're going to have to be kind and very patient.
I'm guessing you guys are naturally this weight, or at least this weight without having an eating disorder? I have found, during my extensive travels through the subject of 'weight' that a BMI of 16 can be very healthy or very unhealthy on different people depending on their muscle mass, height, bone structure etc.

I have a friend who naturally has a BMI of 18 and looks great. When my BMI is 18 all the bonest in my chest show, my ribs and spine stick out, my skin is grey etc. It just depends what your body's 'natural' weight is.

A BMI of 17.5 below is classified as anorexic if loss of period is also present. At a BMI below 17.5, coupled with a starvation diet, the body is going to be malnourished with the problems that entails. If you are eating a balanced, healthy diet and have a BMI of 17.5, you won't have the problems that come with malnourishment.

Personally, I would be worried if someone had a BMI of 16, especially if they had food problems, and definitely if they were purging. When my BMI was 16 I was threatened with hospitalisation because I had frequent blackouts, heart palpitations and chest pains. Every case is individual.

And the problems that occur below a BMI of 16 or only PHYSICAL. If we waited until every anorexic's BMI went below 16, all we'd be doing is allowing the illness to hook more and more firmly in. Plus, at very low weights the brain stops functioning well so it becomes almost impossible to effectively do a talking therapy.
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RightSaidJames
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#24
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#24
It's quite a struggle to get from a BMI of 20 to 16 with normal-ish eating habits, but obviously do-able. My BMI is 21.5 and I have a bit of belly fat still. Nonetheless, your friend needs to have her thoughts straightened out, and if it has to be done forcefully by outside influence, then so be it.
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InnocentEyes
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#25
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r.e. the BMI thing, the overwhelming majority of people will be significantly underweight and unhealthy with a bmi of 16, unless they are under 18. there is a huge, huge difference between a bmi of 16 and 20 in terms of health. heck, I've never had a bmi of 20 but I know there's even a huge difference for me between 16 and 17/18. - my body actually stops feeling like a faulty machine at the latter weight range. however it's not only that but the fact that if your friend loses to that point when it isn't natural for her body, her cognitive functions are likely to be impaired, thus reinforcing the disordered thoughts and causing her to be unable to stop the weight loss.
anyway. it sounds to me like she wants your help but she is pushing you away when you mention the food/weight issue because well, as someone else said 'that's what people DO' in her situation. I think it's better to be a little harsh here and bring it up again even if she doesn't like it than go away thinking you haven't helped her.
good luck OP
xx
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Anonymous #3
#26
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#26
Having an eating disorder is not just about your weight/BMI, but your mental attitude to food too; someone may not look very thin or anorexic, but they may still have the 'anorexic thoughts'. One of the first things they do in hospitals whilst treating eating disorders is to get your weight up, then they still keep you in to make sure you are mentally well.

OP, in my opinion there is nothing else you yourself can do, but to be her friend- she needs to feel cared for. However i strongly advise you tell her parents as soon as possible.
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neverknowingwhy
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#27
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#27
(Original post by Anonymous)
She can go a few ways: she'll either improve in self esteem/general life and recover. Or she'll just become a 'weird eater' i.e. Ed-NOS and struggle with body image for the long haul. Or she'll become a fully blown anorexic and lose weight to the extreme. Or she won't be able to keep up the starvation and she'll become bulimic.
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That's really insightful... like such a good grasp of how it works... wow lol i think you've just summed up every girl who has ever had weight issues... im not being sarcastic lol it's just so true like everyone i've ever known with weight problems has ended up one of these lol
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Anonymous #5
#28
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I stopped eating properly for a while and lost a lot of weight really quickly...Since then though, I've been getting better and after speaking to friends and stuff about what was going on they've told me they suspected something was going on. But they didn't say anything at the time to me. Probably for fear of me backing off even further. But when you are locked in the silence of an eating disorder, you don't feel like you can say anything. It is so hard asking for help and when the people around don't broach the subject either...its really hard and makes you feel even more alone. Maybe if they had said something at the time, I may have backed off. I just don't know.

All you can do is this: be there for your friend. Let her know that your worried and that she can talk to you if there is anything on her mind. Its a difficult situation and it sounds like something is definately going on. Like I said, just be there for her.
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Sephaeii
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#29
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#29
Whatever you do, please don't give up on her. Please don't let her go.

Unfortunately for you, whatever you do next you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't.If you stand back, you risk losing her even more to this hateful disease. Ifyou try to itervene, she will not thank you for it in the short term, I can guarantee it.

Keep talking to her. Keep bringing it up, gently, and make it clear you're concerned about her. I wouldn't tell her you found the journal, because she might feel like she has no privacy/control, which could trigger further dependency on the anorexia.

Just keep going. By being concerned enough about her to ask advice, you're already demonstrating how good a friend you are, and you're doing the right thing.
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Mousickle
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#30
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I feel sort of bad reading her journal still, but I feel like its the only way I can realy know if she is ok.

Today she had put about us trying to talk to her and said that we should accept it as it made her so happy. And she was just trying to work towards perfection.
She also said that she was no good at anything else in life and that this was the one thing that she could be good at.

It makes me really sad to read that becasue I know she is smart and if she just had the confidence to try and do things she could do well.
Its just obvious that no matter what her freinds say she thinks that she is in the right and we are the stupid ones so getting her to listen is going to be pretty hard.
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