National Eating Disorders Association

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Open Group sessions in Los Angeles


I am seeking help and advice for someone very dear to me. She recently just opened up to me with her eating disorder and I want to get a better understanding on what she is going through. She talks to me about why and when she has the need to purge and it's really taking a toll on me emotionally knowing I can't really do much except to be just a shoulder to lean on or lend an ear to listen to her worries. She keeps telling me that she is going to stop after the holidays but recently she said "I know I can stop but I don't because I like it." I'm more than worried. I'm honestly terrified. I want to get a better understanding so I can be a little bit more equipped for what comes next. What ever it is, I want to be there for her. Are there any group sessions in Los Angeles that allows friends and family to sit in and listen to open forums? Sitting in AA and military veteran group sessions speaking openly, I found hearing others stories gave me a better understanding on what others have gone through. Just reading about this from websites and online forums only scratches the surface. She gets very defensive at times when I ask her if she wants someone to keep her company when she gets emotionally distressed and I know she's turning to a vice she's had for years when she gets in that state. She told me that she has a habit of pushing friends away who find out about her secret and they end up leaving. She's scared that I might do the same and she won't believe me when I tell her that I'm not going to leave her. But even though I tell her that, she's slowly distancing herself from me. It might just be me overreacting or reading into her actions the wrong way but none the less I want to be there for her and help in anyway I can.

Hi Cpm10489,

Thanks for reaching out to the forums! Its so great that you want to support your friend! If you are looking for support groups, I have two suggestions for you. First, you can check online here: Additionally, you might want to try giving the NEDA Helpine a call at 1-800-931-2237, typically available 9-9EST M-Th and 9-5EST F (the hours are a bit different next week because of the holidays). They have trained volunteers who could help you locate resources in your area as well.

Lastly, I suggest checking out the Parent Toolkit - its not just for parents! Available here: The toolkit has a ton of different resources ranging from how to support a loved one to information on eating disorders and a whole lot in between!

Best of luck finding a group! Keep us posted!