National Eating Disorders Association

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Girlfriend struggling with ED and I can't think of what to say

My girlfriend of two years (we are both 20, go to the same college) struggles with an ED. She seemed to be doing okay, she was eating somewhat normally, but a few days ago she started getting down again. I think a friend of ours made a joke about eating too much and getting fat when we were going out for dinner and that set it off.

She told me that she had started to look at pro-anorexia websites again. I just don't know how to answer that besides saying "no" and telling her that she's beautiful. I just don't know what to say when she breaks out that saying, and she has had a number of abusive partners in the past so I'm worried that I might come across as angry or forceful and trigger painful memories for her.

What can I say to her when she tells me these things? How can I tell her that is wrong without sounding like I'm mad at her?

"Pro-Anorexia" websites are

"Pro-Anorexia" websites are one of the most evil things I have ever seen.

I mean, who wants to help other people kill themselves?

For some people, telling them they look good is also harmful, because that justifies what they are doing.

Unfortunately logic doesn't really work with an Anorexic so there's really no way to counter her skinny quote in a way that will mean anything. After all - being an Anorexic, by all accounts, does NOT feel good. Feeling light-headed frequently, having shorter memory, being weak, trying to sit down on bones, constant stomach pain....yeah, I doubt that feels good at all. And as far as looks goes - people who get too skinny look terribly ugly anyway. There's a reason "curves" are attractive.

Honestly you're probably just better off not responding to her remarks. At best, your response won't do any harm, and at worst, your response will make things worse.



So sorry to hear about the struggles that both you and your girlfriend are experiencing as a result of her anorexia. You find yourself in a very challenging position, and you made the crucial move of reaching out for support to improve the situation. I hope you will find the links below helpful to you at this time:

Good luck with everything and stay connected!