National Eating Disorders Association

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canshecicero
concerned about new friend

Hello, a little background info: I'm 21F and struggled with anorexia when I was a teenager.

To cut the story short: I think this girl at my uni I just met this semester (oct 2020) is seriously struggling with an eating disorder, but I don't think i know her well or long enough to do anything.

So a few things that raised my suspicions

- starting off with the visual aspects, it is pretty clear that she has a "low bmi". Also she wears baggy clothes

- we study in the medical field, so we had to take each other's blood pressure and hers was exceptionally low

- due to the pandemic we're not allowed to eat on campus, so I can't really tell you anything about her eating behavior, but I visited her dorm once (when she insisted on walking there instead of taking the subway) and food-wise there wasn't much to see. Of course this could be an innocent typical college dorm but I don't know honestly

- likes a lot of "physical" posts on social media, being bodies or specific body parts like legs etc. (could be seen as th*nspo?)

- Lastly, we had a lot of group assignments and we always work together. For our last assignment she didn't really do anything so I asked her if she was okay and she told me she had some personal issues. I told her she could talk to me and she thanked me and told me that she would soon.

I really want to help her, but I have no idea how to approach her. As I mentioned before, I have struggled with eating disorders myself and I'm still recovering, and from what I remember i did NOT like to talk about it at all.

Anyone know how to help?

BobJ48
Concerned about new friend.

Hey there. Sorry your post sat here for a while, but hopefully you'll get a chance to see this.

Standard disclaimer : "None of us are doctors" and etc. Having said that, I'm pretty sure that you can trust your instincts about your friend, and what her issues might be. So yeah.

And exactly like you said yourself - ".. and from what I remember i did NOT like to talk about it at all. " Which is a legitimate issue. I work on some other message boards for people with EDs, and people often talk about seeing other people they know who have them too, and how it's really hard to come out and say anything face-to-face, even though both people are probably well-aware of what the issue is .

So….you might want to write her a note or a letter, and mention that you understand what she might be up against, tell her a little about your own situation. And then see what comes of that ?

Because you know how it can be, I'm sure - people can feel awfully alone with their situation sometimes, and just knowing that someone else understands can make quite a difference itself.