National Eating Disorders Association

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Best friend clearly struggling but shutting me out , not sure how to help

Really struggling with trying to do the best thing for my best friend at present and wondered if there’s anyone or can private message for advice ?



We are not allowed to do private messaging, but we are here for you. What's going on?

Pushed away.


This can happen for sure. Because to be frank, people with eating disorders often want to keep pushing forward with their behaviors, and want to keep losing weight. They have a pretty good idea that people who care about them will disapprove of this, so often they will start pushing their friends away.

Or they think that others simply won't "get it" about why they are compelled to keep losing. Outsiders can have overly-simplistic views of both why they are doing what they do, and what it would take to get better. It would just be easier to keep their distance from those who don't understand.

On the other hand, often you hear people with EDs express sorrow over how much their ED has taken from them. Loss of friends is something they often mention with sadness. Losses they feel responsible for themselves.

So that's kind of what you are up against with your friend. And as you may be seeing, it could be difficult to talk to her about this in person.

So one thing to consider is writing her a letter. Like one that you write out on paper. Let her know your concerns. Letters give the person some time to think about what you've said. Plus they can tell that you really care, just by the fact that you took the time to do this.

One thing to keep in mind is that you can't fix her. But you can be supportive of her as a human being. If that makes any sense ?

Keeping the person in touch with the real world is another thing you can do. Just hang out and doing normal things. If they will allow that I mean. Folks with EDs can really begin to isolate themselves, and when it's just them and ED spending time alone with each other, that's usually not a good thing.

Anyhow, just some thoughts. Keep writing ?


I have a friend currency

I have a friend currency doing the exact same thing. What has worked best for me was pretending I didn't care and then researching it. After thorough research, I would randomly say something about a "new diet" that safely helps lose weight (even though they didn't really) and would glorify the diets, and tried to convince her to try them with me. After awhile, she had started eating new and different foods with me in different ways than normal, and she looked healthier. But the tricky part about this is that by pretending not to care, you have to make sure to still spend time with them, just never talk about the ED. Make sure to make lots of plans with them, and ALWAYS have food as an option with your plans. a good trick is anytime there is a new restaurant, take them there and tell them y'all have to try the food there cuz it's supposed to be really good. This works for her, and I'm not sure if it works for you. Also, be careful that she doesn't start to think that you are ignoring her problem. If she ever asks, just say that you felt like you didn't know how to help but that you hated seeing them like that. Yes, It's a bit of a guilt trip, but it makes them stop and think about how they're affecting everyone else.

Just a couple of suggestions though, I'm no expert. You may want to tweak them a little to best benefit your friend. I hope they get better!!