National Eating Disorders Association

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Long-Distance Friend with ED

I have a friend who moved but we still keep in touch through social media. Recently she has started making Instagram posts regarding her eating habits. She posts calorie counts and discusses her attempts at purging. I am extremely concerned for her but I have no clue what to do, especially as I can't talk to her about it in person.
However, I follow the accounts of one of her close friends as well as her sister. Neither of them have seen her posts about her eating, as the posts are on an account they don't know about. Would it make sense to tell them about the posts? What is the best thing to do in this situation?

Hello colincantwell! We are

Hello colincantwell! We are glad that you are sharing your story here on the NEDA forums. A portion of your post was edited due to the mention of specific numbers and wording that may be triggering to other forum members. Our community guidelines are always available to review here In the event you need further assistance please call the NEDA helpline at 1-800-931-2237 (M-Th 9-9 F 9-5 EST).
Again, thank you for posting, and we hope you will continue to do so!


Hi there. Thank you for caring enough about your friend to post here. I would consider talking to her on the phone and express your concerns. How old is she? Maybe if you tell her what your intensions are that would keep open and honest communication going so she doesn't feel caught off guard and then she wouldn't trust you. What do you think? Ask her if she is willing to get help, if she feels she needs help. If you feel her health is in danger I would probably mention something to her family but not necessarily show the social media posts. I don't know. That is just me and only my opinion. It is difficult to say as I don't know anything about her or her relationship with her family. Or your relationship with each other. But if she is a friend and needs help, it may be what she needs. Only you can really make that decision. Are you asking any of your other friends about this? What are they saying? I wish you the best and I a sorry I am not able to give you a direct answer. Take care.


Im dealing with the same

I used to live in Sydney. Im a teen and so is my Gf. I suffer from bulimia.

I was a 2 minute walk away from my Gf who suffered from severe Anorexia. It was really hard for me at the time being the only person to know and not be able to do anything. One day she passed out and had a fit. Her mum came and picked her up and took her to the doctors. Even then I couldn't say anything as I had "Promised not to". Weeks went on and she was going 5 days at a time while purging like twice a day. I could tell I was loosing her.

I finally told her mum and she took her to hospital. They admitted her that day. It turns out she was 3 days away from her heart failing. I nearly losed her.

But anyways. She was dismissed and for a while was doing good (No eating disorder behaviors).

Then my parents told me we were moving to Canberra. She started purging and is on the way to go from being a safeish weight back to a very low weight. Her heart can't take it. And I'm so far away I can't do anything.


Hi. Your story breaks my heart. The burden of promising not to tell and then knowing how ill your friend was. I am glad you told her mom. Sometimes we have to break a promise when someone is so ill they are unable to be rational. HOW ARE YOU doing? How is the bulimia? Now that your friend is so far away, and isn't doing well, how is it affecting you and your recovery. Have you ever considered taking a time off for a while if her behaviors are really affecting you? Do you know that it is okay to do that? Take care of yourself without feeling guilty? The best thing you can do for your friend is to take care of yourself and get into recovery yourself and get well. It all sounds so difficult and no easy answers. Know you were heard and I will pray for you and your friend.


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