National Eating Disorders Association

4 posts / 0 new
Last post
What's wrong with my friend? Please help!?

My friend has told me she has had an eating problem since she was 5 (when her parents broke up) she is 13 now and she doesn't eat breakfast, sometimes skips lunch and when dinner is served she says when she eats her food she can only eat a couple of mouthfuls and she is full! She can't stomach a normal amount. She has gone to the doctor and they say they don't know what's wrong with her and that there currently doing tests or something. She has a slim body type (defiantly not too skinny) but she said doesn't mind if she puts some weight. Does anyone know what is wrong with her?

Hi Jerome,

Hi Jerome,
First, thank you for reaching out here on the forums! Your friend is lucky to have someone like you who cares about her and is looking for ways to support her. This can be very helpful in recovery! Simply being open to your friend and allowing her to be honest with you and share information that might be personal and uncomfortable can go a long way - maintaining open communication can help you keep this trust.

I'm glad to hear your friend is going to the doctor to get labs checked out. Seeing a medical professional is definitely important when any type of eating problem is going on. Letting her know that she can talk to you throughout the process and vent if she needs to can be very helpful to her. Letting her know that you aren't there to judge her but to be an listening ear can be comforting and help her stay positive.

Here are some other ideas about how to support her:
What should I say:
How to help a friend:
General info:

If she is comfortable with it, you can also try to see if anything about her parents' separation triggered the eating problem that she mentioned - how did she feel when it happened, how has it affected her in the years since then, etc. might be questions to open up the conversation. Being concerned but not overly pushy can help show her you care without making her uncomfortable.

The NEDA Helpline (1-800-931-2237, M-R 9-9, F 9-5) is another great resource for advice and support.

Hope this helps and wishing you the best!

Thank you

Wow thanks for the help ! I appreciate it ! And something I forgot too say is that she exhibits symptoms associated with eating disorders when she is stressed :(

Thanks for the support!

Hi Jerome!

Thank you for bringing this up and caring for your friend. I just wanted to add that it may be also helpful for your friend simply for you to be there for her. It could be that she is suffering from other emotional problems and needs an ear. Maybe ask her if anything is going on in her life or if she wants to talk about anything. But give her time, because sometimes it is hard to open up.

Make sure you give her the helpline number: 1-800-931-2237 which is on Monday-Thursday from 9:00 am - 9:00 pm and Friday from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (EST)

All the best!