Worried about a friend and anorexia Watch

Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 10 years ago
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Hi
I need a bit of advice as to what to do about a friend of mine.
I knew that she didnt eat all that much and was worried about her wieght, she always has been, but then thats pretty normal for a teenage girl.

However just lately she is always on about how she is on a "diet" and cant eat anything.

And now I have stumbled upon her online journal and its all about pro ana. She has on there that her BMI is 20 (low end of noraml) and that its so disgusting and cant belive shes so fat etc. she's also put that her goal wight is something like a BMI of 16 (very underweight).

What worries me even more is that she is a meber of all of these pro ana groups and there are all of these people encouraging her to starve herself.

I dont really know what to do becasue I know that she thinks her whole self worth is based on how thin she is, and a few words about health etc from me wont do anything.

Has anyone been in this situation? or what would you do if you were me.

Thanks for any help
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Anonymous #2
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you're right, if she's already talking to pro-ana people, something you say probably won't help, even if you quote statistics of how dangerous it is, etc.
Just try to be there for her (EDs are rarely JUST about food, there is probably some underlying issue she is having trouble dealing with) and talk to her, but if you think she is seriously in danger after not eating/drinking anything for a while, force her to (if you can) just to keep her going until you can get her some help.
Don't try to lecture her, it won't help and she might even try to stop speaking to you to avoid the facts. Just be there to listen to her, and if possible try to get her to seek medical help (if you can, without lecturing or being controlling: often EDs are about control, so she will fight back hard, if she senses someone trying to take away this little bit of control from her)
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neverknowingwhy
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omgsh i am not even kidding you but last week exactly the same thing happened to me, i found my friend's livejournal account all about it and i was like woah wow even though i did know before that she had probs. tbh, leave her to it, there's nothing you can do and as long as she's still got a bmi of 20 then she's healthy... i'd only panic if she got down to 16 at which point it's not your responsibility anyway, her parents shouldve noticed... at least now u can keep an eye on her without her knowing i wouldnt bother confronting her it'd just make it awkward.

so sorry hun, there's nothinu can rlly do and pro ana is harmless really, it's better she finds out stuff vicariously than going and trying things herself

x
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Dollaleigh
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its hard to say. while on holiday with some girl friends last week we noticed that one of our friends who we'd been worrying about for a while wasnt eating anything. when we asked her whether she thought she might have an eating disorder she laughed in our faces. i think its a good idea to maybe notify her parents of what is going on ad see where to go from there.
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PoisonDonna
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Argh that's such a hard situation. Whatever you do you need to be fairly careful with it, because you don't want to alienate her and push her away from you when you are offering her help. But I guess the issue is she probably doesn't actually think she needs any help.

I haven't been in this situation or anything similar so hopefully someone who has will reply and help you out a bit more, but if it were me I would just talk to her about it and let you know you are there for her. Best to try and bring these things up early. Of course the fact it's her online life is an issue, because I guess she doesn't know you read it? You can probably get away with not mentioning that fact for now really.

Good luck with it :hugs:
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randomgirl
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Hi OP, wow that sounds like an awkward position to be in.
Does your friend know that you know about her ED?

Maybe your friend is doing this because she feels that she has nobody to discuss her body issues and life troubles with. I suggest you make sure that she knows you are there for her if she ever needs to talk. Also if you do talk to her about seeking medical help then say that you will go with her to the Doctors for some moral support?

Obviously you will have to tread lightly and hope that what you do does not affect her adversely. Does anybody else know about this? Her other friends? parents? If she is especially close to anyone maybe suggest that she tells them if she feels comfortable doing so. I think a key issue her is talking to her in a way that doesn't belittle her or make her feel bad, and emphasis the fact that she isn't a let-down or disappointment to anybody, she shouldn't be ashamed of her ED, she should just try and realise that it's not a good place to be in and recognise that she has an eating problem.

I hope things work out for your friend :hugs:
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kiss_me_now9
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I think talking to her parents is a bit extreme... I've never been in this situation so please ignore the advice if someone later on who has contradicts it.

I would say get a quiet place, sit her down and ask her if everything in her life is ok. Say something like you've noticed that she's lost a lot of weight recently and you wondered if she had something on her mind that was stressing her out because it's always better to talk about things. Make it clear that you're always there, if she ever wants to talk to you or just rant/moan/shout at someone. She might open up, she probably won't be at least she knows that you'll be there for her.
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Mousickle
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(Original post by neverknowingwhy)
pro ana is harmless really

x
How!? How is encouraging someone to slowly kill themsleves harmless?! And surely its not the wieght thats the problem its the disorder. wouldnt it be better to try and help her when she is still healthy weight than wait until she is half dead?!
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Anonymous #1
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The thing is she doesn't really make a secret of it, shes clearly proud of losing weight. she told me that she has lost a stone in the last 2 weeks and was very happy about it. She also sits there going ooww my stomach, But whenever someone mentions anything about her not eating enough she gets really angry and in a strop.

I knew she had eating problems, just I didnt realise how bad it was until I found the online stuff.

Also she is 19 so telling her parents isn't really going to help
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Danielle89
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I agree with the poster who says pro-ana sites are really really dangerous - people giving each other "tips" on how to get to their goal quicker. Some of it's quite scary to be honest, and girls on those sites mock each other if they don't lose weight fast enough. Sad sad world...
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kiss_me_now9
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Mmm, yes I know one of them (not quite as extreme as your friend though). She told me that she was going to do a fitness video twice a day every day for the whole summer "because her stomach goes out when she eats".

It sounds like she knows perfectly well what she's doing... I'm sorry OP, I don't know what to suggest. Good luck.
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hannah_dru
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(Original post by Zoedotdot)
If she's proud of it then there's very little you'll be able to do to stop anything. Sitting her down and talking to her will just make her angry and she won't listen, although perhaps planting the seed will do something. Either way, until she wants to eat properly she won't I hope she realises what she's doing to herself sooner rather than later, and gets away from those poisonous pro-ana sites.
I agree with you. I had anorexic tendencies (didn't not eat anything but only ate certain things and was always on about my weight) and wouldn't listen to anyone. In the end my mum gave up and decided that I was the only one who could fix things myself. She did consider dragging me to the doctor but I don't know if that makes things worse or better.
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Brighten
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That's difficult. Maybe say to her, things like if you're out and see a painfully thin girl, point out that she doesn't look healthy and isn't attractive, or mention the side effects of anorexia (most don't recover, teeth rotting, osteoporosis etc.) She probably isn't full-blown anorexic at the moment, but it could become that way. Try and talk to her about any body-image issues she might have.
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rt
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It is tricky that. I was in a similar situation, not in the sense that I knew they were reading websites promoting this but just due to the general attitude of the person in question. They was always quite jumpy and felt really low on energy/low-moods and I figured she was skipping breakfast/dinners etc. Tried talking but as you can guess she is an indepedant person as always.. Anyway it's just something you try your best to persuade her. I just said please eat a little bit. It was quite upsetting actually. But she's ok now.
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Anonymous #3
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If i was in your position, i would tell the parents of your friend. A couple of years back, i was hospitalised for 4 months for anorexia, and have been in and out of therapy since then, but i think i'm on nearly back on track However the only way i was able to get to the position i'm in now was from the support of my friends- they were the ones who first noticed my changing behaviour and they were the ones who notified my parents, who in turn contacted the doctor. Also, if i were you i would sit down with your friend and ask her if she is feeling okay- perhaps not mentioning the not-eating aspect, but more the fact she seems down. Anorexia is often triggered by feeling worthless or not having control about various areas of life, so by talking to her, she may feel as if people do care about her.

Hope i've helped
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Ili
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Hmm maybe you ought'a try asking someone who she actually listens to to sit down and speak to her regarding her condition. I mean, if she won't take in your advice, then perhaps some other person she's close to might do the trick e.g her sister, cousin, mum or anyone who's been through her situation and gotten over it.

Else, you could try and take her out to lunch or something and subtlely make her try on new food and drinks. Perhaps then she'll realise what she's missing!!
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beccadimambro
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I found my sister's online journal sometime last year and it documented the exact same kind of thing; posting constant 'thinspiration' for the other girls to look at, chatting with girls about how to ward off hunger cravings, beating herself up about the number of calories in a green apple.

There was an entry about a girl she apparently saw once in a cafe. She said the girl was clearly anorexic, her face was sunken and she could see all the bones in her arms. One thing she remarked upon was that the girl had no boobs, they hadn't grown because she'd starved herself so much...and how much my sister envied this girl's body.

It was pretty horrible, and my Mum contacted someone who works with people who are sectioned until they overcome their eating disorders. The woman said my Mum would need to point out the horrific consequences to my sister, about how her teeth would rot and her hair would go lank and she'd get terrible skin...

I don't know how my sister got over it, I think it was gaining new friends that delivered a much-needed confidence boost. She still is far from a big eater, and I think she's got it ingrained into her that no matter how big or small the portion is, as long as she doesn't finish her plate, she'll stay slim. It's awful, and it's taken so long for us to be able to discuss food around her.

If you're really worried about your friend, I do suggest going out for dinner. I don't know if you're worried about her being bulimic, but (according to the woman my Mum spoke to) the girls at the clinic she works in are made to sit for 30 minutes after they eat, because that's how long it takes to digest the food sufficiently and get the goodness from it. So if you were out for dinner, you could make sure she eats, and see if she manages to get anything from it.

I really hope your friend is okay, it's a horrible, horrible thing to go through.
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forgottenromeo
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Be tough, talk to her parents about it, and try and get professionals involved. Talk to her about it first if you feel you need to. But its not fair to put all the pressure of helping her to yourself.
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*HullaBaLoO*
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It's hard to do anything until she admits she has a problem.

I have a anorexic friend and two bulimic friends, and really I haven't said anything, because unless they want help, there's not much I can do.
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Anonymous #1
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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.
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