National Eating Disorders Association

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my girlfriend has an ed and I want to help her

I am 15 (almost 16) and my girlfriend is 17. She suffers from both anorexia and bulimia. Before we started dating, I knew she had body image issues but I didn't know how bad her ED is until recently. She feels like she can't reach out to her family because she doesn't want to put stress on her family after her older sister attempted suicide last year. She also self harms. I really want to help her because I want her to be happy and I don't want to lose her, but I don't know what to do. Please help me help her.

Hi there!!

Hello! Welcome to the forums and thank you so much for your post! I hope that I can be of some support!!

I am sorry to hear about your girlfriend. No one deserves to experience the difficulties associated with the eating disorder. But everyone does deserve support and recovery and I am so happy that you are seeking ways to provide that to her!

Have you asked her if she would be willing to discuss things with a school counselor? I think that a school counselor is a great way to still tell an adult about some serious concerns and at the same time be speaking with a professional who will understand what the next appropriate steps would be. I think it might also be useful to ask her if she would be willing to talk with someone else in her family about the eating disorder? Maybe an aunt or grandmother? They might be able to help her talk to her parents in a way that feels safest to her.

I think a great resource that you and your girlfriend might find useful would be the NEDA Navigators program! Have you heard of it? It is a program that connects you with a volunteer who has recovered and can provide you with their experiences and give advice too!! Plus this whole service is free and private! Here is a link to learn more!! Feel free to share this with her!

I hope this helps!! Please let me know if you have any questions!! Stay strong!!