National Eating Disorders Association

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My girlfriend has anorexia

I am new to this. I need some sound advice as to how to deal with this horrible disease. Help...

I'm so sorry!

Hi Ironschulz,

Welcome to the NEDA online forums! We are so glad to have you here. I am so sorry to hear that you are going through a hard time right now with your girlfriend. If you don't mind me asking, is your girlfriend currently seeking treatment for her eating disorder? Does she have a local PCP, therapist or a nutritionist currently? How about you? Do you have someone you can talk to? Whether it is a therapist, a close friend or family member or a mentor? Eating disorders are such a complex illness and a lot of the times, individuals on the outside also suffer.

Have you also tried calling the Information & Referral Helpline phone number? It has a ton of great resources and you can speak privately with a trained volunteer who can further assist you in finding options for your loved one and yourself, as well.

Please let me know if there is anything more we can do to help or if you just need a listening ear. I wish you the best of luck! <3


Where to start ?

Hey Iron,

No kidding, this stuff is a lot more complicated than it may first appear, as I suspect you are coming to see. The best thing to do is to start with some reading, like the resources they have here, and then decide where to move on from there.

You may have figured out by now that there's no way you can fix or really rescue her. That sort of work is hers, and out of our grasp I'm afraid. Because it has to do with so much more that just the eating, you know ? It's the things that are deep down inside.

This doesn't mean there is nothing we can do though. "Being supportive" may sound like a pretty soft and wimpy substitute for all of the things that we wish we could do. But it has it's power as well, once you start to get a handle on it.

In any case, I hope you can keep writing ? This stuff can be hard on us too.


Hi Ironschulz!

Welcome to the forums! Along with all the other advice, I'd also like to suggest the Parent Toolkit (its not just for parents!), available here:

The Toolkit has a lot of great resources and suggestions, such as facts about eating disorders, how to support a loved one, and treatment options and suggestions. I highly recommend checking it out!

Keep us updated!

Re: My girlfriend has anorexia

Hi Ironschulz, thanks for posting. I just wanted to provide you with the NEDA Helpline (1-800-931-2237), open Monday-Thursday from 9:00 am - 9:00 pm and Friday from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (EST). I highly recommend giving them a call if you need answers, information, or just someone to talk to! I hope you find the support you need. =)


And she left me.......

Stay strong!

Hi Ironschulz and thank you for sharing! I am really sorry to hear that and I am sure it’s even hard knowing that she is struggling. I wish you all the best and stay strong, she might need your support in the near future.

Well darn.


Welcome to the world of EDs. No fun I know, but you really don't want to go second guessing yourself. "If I hadn't of said this, but had said that instead." You don't want to be going there, as despite all of the rings she may have said about you, ED is a real tough nut, and it's likely none of it would have made a whole lot of difference in the end.

What you want to remember though, is that you did try, because I know that you did. She's likely to remember that too

If things should change, drop by again. EDs are much more of a difficult matter than those who've not seen it firsthand will ever realize.

Bob J.