National Eating Disorders Association

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How to help a friend support me and my ED recovery

Today I told my best friend about my ED. I want her to be apart of my recovery and for her to be there for support. She also said she wants to support me but I know that she has no clue how. What do I do to help her support me? How do I educate her on my ED (anorexia)? I have also only been diagnosed and in recovery for less than two weeks. I was hospitalized for 6 days and then I have only been home for five. I've only had one FBT (Family Based Treatment) therapy session. I am nowhere near recovery, I have literally only just started.


Hi! Thank you for posting. We’re sorry to hear about what’s going on but it's encouraging to hear that you're interested in how your best friend can support you! First, here is a page on how to open up about your concerns: Second, you asked how you can educate her. We have a resource called the Parent Toolkit. This can be read by any loved one and has a wealth of information regarding eating disorders and may help in terms of her supporting you. Here is the link: When you get the chance, please take a look at our community guidelines here: If you’re looking for resources, please feel free to contact the Helpline at (800) 931-2237. Phones are open Monday-Thursday 11AM-9PM EST and Friday 11 AM-5PM EST. Our Click to Chat is open Monday-Thursday 9AM-9PM EST and Friday 9AM-5PM EST. You can click the chat now option at the top right hand corner!  Please continue posting!

Supportive friend.

Hey Anne,

It's brave of you to want your friend to help support you. So I guess what I would say is…what do you think she could that would feel most helpful to you ?

Lot's of people would like to help their friends who have EDs, but unless the person tells them what feels helpful, they don't really know what to do.

Educating herself is a good start, but I'm not sure that that needs to be your job to be her teacher,, so as mentioned above, she might want to check around and see what sort of resources there are that can help her get a better idea of what you are going though. For a start, that is.

But yes, she will be wondering what else she can do, and you may have to be the one who lets her know what would feel best to you.

You know how it can go with EDs I'm sure - all those ED thoughts 24/7 and the like. So maybe she can help you do just normal sorts of things, like going on hikes and things like that, which can help people's minds not stay stuck in those ED thoughts all the time ?