National Eating Disorders Association

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galenh98
staying positive and supportive for her

Hi, I'm a new member... my name is Galen. My best friend has had an eating disorder (Bulimia) for over a year now, and as it progressively gets harder for her, it does for me too. Because I care for her so much, I see her terrible pain and all I want to see is her enjoying life again. It's been a rough road as I have been hospitalized for different reasons AND wanting to stay positive for her at the same time. My biggest fear has been the fact that she won't seek help. I sometimes feel selfish for getting so frustrated. As much as I want to shove those feelings aside, I don't know how too. I have researched the internet, read books, and watched countless Youtube videos about eating disorders, and this has become my last seek for comfort. What makes me more determined to help her is also because when I was in 7th-8th, my closest friend at the time had developed Anorexia. They both had the same thing in common, as I think most people experience: they didn't want help, and were/are secretive. She moved away in the middle of our 9th grade year, and I haven't talked to her since. My regret with that situation was that I wish I could've done more for her. I continuously juggled the thought of telling someone of a higher power that she needed serious medical attention, and finally, I did. Unfortunately, it back fired. No one would listen to me. Her mother was an alcoholic, and her father wasn't in the picture. On top of her mental state, the emotional and verbal abuse I watched her endure from her mother was one of the most difficult things I've witnessed to this day. I don't know what else I could have done, but there had to be something. I don't want to make that same mistake again with my truly amazing, beautiful, and intelligent best friend now. I'm not sure where to go from here...

als2908
Hi galenh98, thanks for

Hi galenh98, thanks for reaching out and sharing your story. It is so apparent how much you care for your friend and want to help. I applaud you for that. I can understand how hard it must be for you to want to help, but not sure how. People who struggle with eating disorders do often hide their disorder and behaviors because of shame. For that reason, it can be hard for them to get help. Even though you want your friend to get help, please don’t feel guilty or responsible if she doesn’t. Ultimately, it’s her decision. I would encourage you to share your concerns with her, however. Sometimes a person doesn’t realize how disordered their behaviors are until a good friend says so. There is no one best way to share your concerns, but NEDA has some valuable suggestions and tools! You can read about them here: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/family-and-friends
You can also provide her with the NEDA Helpline number 1-800-931-2237. The Helpline is a great resource to find treatment options available in your area.
I hope this information is helpful and I encourage you to keep posting here for support!

galenh98
I'm going to give her the

I'm going to give her the helpline number in hopes that she will use it if/and when she thinks it's necessary. anyway, thank you so much for the uplifting reply, I truly needed it.