National Eating Disorders Association

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Lucysky
Advice For Friend

Hi,

I have a friend that is interested in getting help but is scared to ask for it. She told me she went to a doctor’s appointment to look into a possible heath issue that was bothering her. She got blood work done too. All came back normal. She did get the courage to tell her doctor she dealt with restriction//bulimia in her past as she feared this may be related to her possible issue. The doctor had just responded with “did you do it everyday?” She mentioned to her doctor she did. The conversation had ended at that point. She was unable to tell the full details of her past history as well as say she went back into it this past year and was too scared to ask for help now.

What would be the best way for her to ask for help/ get help? I talked to her but she is still too scared to ask. She thinks because she is not underweight and her results were fine she won’t be taken seriously. She feels embarrassed to book another appointment because her last appointment had ended with everything was dealt with. Her doctor did recommend she book an appointment with a nutritionist as a last resort with her health issue because everything came back normal. She did tell me she was going to book an appointment with a nutritionist but wasn’t sure if she should share her history with the nutritionist, both past and present or would even have the courage to do this. Do you think she should try to start to share this with the nutritionist?

I am proud of my friend for at least talking to me and want to help her anyway I can.

I greatly appreciate any advice regarding this.

Lucy

_admin_moderator
Welcome!

Hi Lucy, we’re so glad you’re here. You (or your friend) are welcome to contact the NEDA Helpline at (800) 931-2237. Helpline phone hours are Monday-Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm EST, and Friday from 11 am to 5 pm EST. Helpline chat hours are Monday-Thursday from 9 am to 9 pm EST and Friday 9 am to 5 pm EST. You can contact the Helpline for support, resources, and treatment options for yourself or a loved one. Please don’t hesitate to reach out, and please continue posting! Recovery is possible!

BobJ48
Lucy

I'm sorry she had such poor results when she tried to talk to the doctor the first time. You'd think that doctors would know more about things like this, so it can be a shock and a disappointment when they don't. And probably no surprise that she'd be wary of trying again.

"She thinks because she is not underweight and her results were fine she won’t be taken seriously."

This is a really common concern for people with EDs. And often they will feel that until they've starved themselves to the point of being frightenly thin, they don't actually deserve to get help. Which can lead to them just restricting more. Rather than getting help now and avoiding all that.

"She did tell me she was going to book an appointment with a nutritionist but wasn’t sure if she should share her history with the nutritionist...Do you think she should try to start to share this with the nutritionist ?

Yes, definitely. Sometimes I think nutritionists might be more aware about eating disorders than doctors are. That's not certain of course, but they've probably seen more people with EDs than most doctors have. Plus if the nutritionist is going to make up a meal plan for her, the fact that she's struggling with an ED is something the nutritionist would want to take into consideration when making that plan. Plus I don't think a nutritionist would be shocked about hearing about people's EDs at all, so there's a good chance she'll receive a sympathetic response.

As the person from NEDA said, if she's actually considering getting help, she might want to call the helpline and see what they have to say about the practical matters that might be involved. And so that hopefully she could avoid the poor experiences she had before.

"I am proud of my friend for at least talking to me… "

Yes, people can really feel alone with things like this, and may have had bad experiences trying to talk to others about it. So, yes, it was brave of her to be able to talk to you.

And I suspect it means that you are a good sort of person yourself.