National Eating Disorders Association

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starlover_13
advice

Hi,

My best friend recently got diagnosed with anorexia nervosa around a month ago. Even though I had seen some of her restricting behaviors towards food, I felt guilty as her best friend for not noticing sooner. I struggle with another form of mental illness and some disordered eating, so, I feel ignorant for not always checking in when it came to food or realizing that she wasn't doing okay in any aspect of her life.

BobJ48
Hey Starlove.r

Yeah, we can feel bad that somehow we didn't notice. Particularly when it's a friend. But EDs can be pretty secretive things, and sometimes even the person who has them is not willing to admit to themselves that they have a problem.

But I'm not sure that checking her food intake would have helped much to be honest. I mean maybe she would have told you that she was restricting, or maybe she would have said there's no problem. Often people don't want us to worry, you know ?

But you are right ; perhaps there was something going on in her life that brought this on in the first place. And who knows, perhaps there's something that's still going on. Some kind of stressful situation that causes her to not feel in control of her life ? Worries about control can often bring things like this on, but such concerns can sometimes be private too.

Are you guys able to talk about any of this ? Does it seem like she is interested in recovering ?

The main thing will be to stay friends I think. Even if that means that you don't talk a lot about this. Just being able to help keep your friend engaged in normal sorts of daily things, you know ? So you can help her not to start withdrawing from the world, which is something that can happen in situations like this. And that's not a good development for them.

Whatever the case, your friend if fortunate to have a caring friend like yourself.

Things like that can really matter. xx