National Eating Disorders Association

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My girlfriend has an eating disorder

I don't really know too much about it but I know having an is a really bad and not at all good. I've known my girlfriend has had one since about a month into us dating and I didn't really know how to deal with it. I still don't and that's why I'm here seeking out help. We're both young and are teens but I really want to get her help before she get older and it gets worse. Today we were talking about it and I see now just how bad it is. She thinks starving herself is the best way to get rid of all of her body fat when she doesn't really have any. She wants to be skin and bones and says that the fat on her body is too much for her to endure. Whenever she touches a part on her pmbody with any body fat she gets really depressed and feels the need to throw up whatever food she's eaten, and does this almost every day.
I really want to help her any way I can and I'm taking the time to learn more about ED and ways to help her get through it and recover from it. I can't tell her parents about it because she made promise I wouldn't but I have to. So they can take her to see someone who can actually help her.
The reason I'm finally reaching out for help is because tonight she was talking about death and how its the best escape from this.
I really need help from a professional or someone who went through a similar situation.

Hey Slee,

Yep, that's it alright. You described it perfectly. The way it's got it's claws in her, and the way she thinks about her body. The regular throwing up every day. Not good, and just imagine how it feels to her. I guess you can see, from her talk about death.

So you're right about how she needs help quick. It's bad of course, but gets harder to get rid of the longer she has it. So time can be an issue for sure.

So you may have to tell her parents, if she won't take the risk to tell them herself. She may hate you, but if somehow she was in touch with other people with her same problem, they would all tell her that you wouldn't be risking your friendship like this if you didn't care. Because that really is the truth of it, I know.

Hopefully her parents will take you seriously, because she really needs the help that you think she does.

NEDA has some stuff about how you can best support her, and stuff for her parents too. This stuff is complicated, but it's not impossible to understand.

For us who care for them, we can't really be their rescuers, but we can be their supporters you know ?

Hi Slee112!

I'm so sorry to hear about your girlfriend! As BobJ48 was saying, NEDA has a lot of resources that you might find useful. You might want to check out the Parent Toolkit - its not just for parents! - available here: The toolkit can help you understand how to best support your girlfriend with her eating disorder and how to encouage her to seek help.

Additionally, I'm going to provide you with two phone numbers. NEDA has a helpline that you, your girlfriend, or your girlfriend's parents can call at 1-800-931-2237 M-Th 9-9 EST and F 9-5 EST. The helpline can help you locate resources in your area to help with eating disorders. The other number is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. This phone number is available 24/7. If your girlfriend ever talks about death again, you should urge her to call this number and talk to someone.

I know you said that your girlfriend made you promise not to tell her parents, but you need to. They can help her get treatment, especially if she is depressed. Eating disorders are scary, both to the people that have them and their loved ones.You feel all alone, confused, and full of anger and sadness. Its incredibly hard to deal with, so stay strong and support her through this.

Keep us updated!