National Eating Disorders Association

6 posts / 0 new
Last post
My best friend is losing hope and is refusing help

Hey there! I apologise if this is all over the place. I'm struggling to put all my thoughts into words.

So one of my best friends has had anorexia since she was 14 and she is now 20 years old. I've only known her for a year but during that time we've gotten very close and she's shared a lot about her physical and mental problems with me. She's still getting worse and I'm very worried about her. She has body dysmorphia, depression and anxiety as well. She thinks she can get by with being at the minimum weight possible but she is getting pretty close to being admitted to hospital again. She's doesn't think there's any chance in getting better and I am not sure if she is even trying anymore. She even tore up a prescription or referral that she received and hasn't told her parents. She won't accept help. She tries to avoid eating as much as possible, especially on weekends when we go out drinking with friends. I can never convince her to eat before we go and then myself and another friend always end up looking after her as she's vomiting. She's used self-harm methods before and once quiet recently when she was very drunk. She said it helps her release some of the feelings she has bottle up inside. I'm worried that she will eventually attempt to commit suicide. I've tried and tried to get through to her and convince her not to give up and to try and get better but I just can't. I'm trying so hard to understand what she's going through. I'm so worried about her and I don't know what else to do or say. Can anyone please offer some advise?

Post Edited

Hi  anny1302! We are glad that you are finding support here on the NEDA forums. A portion of your post was edited and deleted due to the mention of specific self-harm behaviors that may be triggering to other forum members. Our community guidelines are always available to review here: In the event you need further assistance please call the NEDA helpline at 1-800-931-2237 (M-Th 9-9 F 9-5 EST).Again, thank you for posting, and we hope you will continue to do so!

I am so sorry to hear about your friend...

Hi anny1302,

Welcome to the NEDA online community forums! We are so glad that you have come here for some advice and support. I am so sorry to hear about your what your friend is going through right now. It definitely sounds like you are very supportive and are doing the best you can to help your friend. It's so difficult to help someone you care about who doesn't want to help themselves. I am very concerned about some of the things you've stated about your friend. I am not a health care provider, but I recommend having your friend call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Also, if she is currently engaging in self-harming behaviors, there is the self-injury crisis line at 1-800-366-8288.

We care about what happens to you and your friend, so please feel free to post as often as you would like here, as you always have a listening ear on the NEDA forums.

Erin_Patricia1 <3

re: My best friend is losing hope and is refusing help

Hi anny1302--welcome to the forums! You've come to the right place for help and support, and you're such a good friend for reaching out about this. I wanted to share some resources on this website that might be helpful as you try to steer your friend toward the path of recovery. I hope some of this helps, and please keep us posted about your friend's progress. We care about both of you and wish you the very best!

General information about EDs (just because it's useful to be educated and informed when you're trying to support someone who's struggling with a mental illness):

Parent Toolkit (not just for parents! Really excellent resource for anyone who's trying to support a loved one with an ED):

How to Help (amazing page full of tons of useful links and advice on how to talk to your loved one about their ED, how to encourage them to seek help and more):

Losing hope...

Dear Anny,

" She's doesn't think there's any chance in getting better and I am not sure if she is even trying anymore. She even tore up a prescription or referral that she received and hasn't told her parents. She won't accept help…."

It's pretty common for people to find themselves in this sort of despair about their situation, so although it's properly alarming, it's also how a lot of people in her situation find themselves feeling. On the one hand, the only thing that really helps them feel in control of things are their behaviors, but at the same time, it's those same behaviors that cause them to realize that they are out of control. When people with EDs reach this point in their disorder, they really can start feeling like they are at their wits end.

This may be part of why she's resorting to self-harm. People use SH for all sorts of various reasons, but she's probably not lying to you when she says that it helps drain off some of the tension she feels. That's one of the dangers of SH - By all reports it does serve to release tensions, and as a result can turn into a habit of it's own.

At the same time, it's kind of like drinking : People go out and drink, and they do feel better for a while, but once they wake up in the morning, the problems they were trying to escape are still there. So it can provide some relief, but it doesn't really do anything to address the issues that have brought on the tensions to begin with.

So what can we do, when it seems like we can't do anything ? For one thing, if she can continue to talk with you about her worries, that can help. Just having someone who will listen non-judgmentally, you know ?

Also, see what you can do to try and put yourself in her shoes, when you are trying to craft what to say to her. If you would find yourself feeling helpless, then that's something you could say to her : "It must be awful feeling helpless like this."

"It's easy to feel like there's really nothing we can do." That's something else that she probably feels.

In any case, if you can come across as a friend who "gets it" then she's likely to feel safer telling you things, and being able to express one's feelings in words, rather than resorting to using behaviors instead…there's some healthiness just in that I think.

Keep writing ?

Anny I know what you mean. My

Anny I know what you mean. My best friend is going through something very similar. She's been dealing with an ED since before I met her (three years ago) and we've gotten very close since, so I help her in any way I can now. Recently it's gotten a lot worse and I've talked with her and her family to help encourage her to see her therapist more often and to determine what she needs from us. I think I'm going to have to do more though, and am trying to figure out how to get her to consider a more intensive program or talk to her doctors about other options.
I think what's helped me most is NEDA's community and online support stuff like this. I'd love to talk to you more or anyone else in a similar situation and offer my own emotional support as well.

Hope everything is going well. You're a great friend for wanting to help her and I can tell how much you care about her.