National Eating Disorders Association

2 posts / 0 new
Last post
How do I help someone

I am currently in an awkward position and really need some help and guidance.
I want the best for my friend and want to really try to help her. But I have no experience helping someone with an eating disorder. I really don't know where to begin.

The situation:
My friend is 14 and is struggling with self-diagnosed body dysmorphia. She spends a lot of her nights throwing up and crying over her body and her looks. For days at a time, she'll go without eating to try and "balance" herself after eating. She wants to eat healthily and tries to sometimes but her family struggles financially. Since she can't eat decent meals, she makes up for it by working out. She'll go for walks or play sports but, she does it extensively and rather excessive. She can't afford to seek professional help and because so she allows her health to decline. I'm worried about her health longterm and I really don't think her carrying on now will do too well after a long period of time.

What I've Been Doing:
I myself deal with mental illness and have tried my best to comfort her in the ways that I know. I've tried talking to her about it and trying to point her in the right direction. I've tried to help her stick to somewhat of a work out routine and have attempted to get her to eat better foods. I really don't know if what I'm doing has any weight. But I want to try anyway and help her in anyway I can.

I need suggestions and recommendations for what I can do.
Is there anywhere I can go to help her meet with a professional?
Are there certain ways I could go about nudging her in a good direction?
Have I gone about this entirely wrong??

I really need some guidance here, anything and everything helps.


Hi and welcome to the forum. It is so kind of you to reach out to try to find help for your friend. I know it is scary to see what is happening with friend. I can only give you my opinion as we can't give medical advice. As she is so young and the reality that eating disorders are dangerous and life threatening, I would try seeing if you can talk with who you trust or even her parents. This may cause your friend to become angry but from what you are describing, your friend needs help now. If she does get angry, the face t that you are helping her get help since she is unable to do so is actually the bravest thing you could do for her. She will probably come around and thank you but right now the important thing is for your friend to get help. NEDA has information on programs or hospitals or therapists that will give her family some ideas about what to do. I know you care about your friend but I think you are realizing she needs more help than you are able to provide. I also think that with your own issues you need to make sure you are not jeopardizing your own health.

So this was long but I needed to stress that this illness can be fatal. I urge you to reach out to someone or her parents and get her help

Please let me know what happens.