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Eating Disorders If you or someone close to you is struggling with an eating disorder, reach out here to ask questions or to receive support for recovery.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Lionheart Offline
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Question How to support my friend? - March 1st 2016, 04:50 PM

I'm not exactly sure how to explain this but I'll try...

I have a friend that is underweight, like a lot. She knows she is underweight but is still trying to loose weight because she feels fat... We talked about it and she tried to explain and I think that I kind of get it...
The main problem is, that I want to support her. I really do, but I don't know how i can do that.
She already has a therapist and she's going to hospital in a few weeks, but it's not for her ED it's for depression and OCD. I think it's good that she is taking up one problem at a time cause personaly I think dealing with all of this at the same time would be a bit too much. But I'm worried. She's already so thin and fragil, that sometimes I feel she will break if I hug her to tight...
I mean, I know I can't tell her to eat more and stuff. She knows that already. Currently all I can do is listen and encourage her to keep eating that one meal she eats every day. It's not much but at least it's something and she doesn't go days without food anymore....
But I don't know, I feel like I should do something more... or encourage her to seek help more. I'm trying to support her with everything but I'm worried I might push her too much and that's why I will only listen and tell her I'm there but I don't know what to say to help...
So is there anything I can say or do to help her? And are there some things I should never ever say? because I really don't want to hurt her. She's already got enough to struggle with....


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Re: How to support my friend? - March 6th 2016, 10:45 PM

Hey! Sorry I haven't replied to this sooner

It's great that your friend has you to support her She's luck to have someone who cares so much.

Yes, you're limited in what you can do. Being there for her and reassuring her, supporting her and even just taking her mind off her struggles are probably the best things you can do, and it sounds like you're doing that already!

If she's going into hospital, chances are they may notice something is up with her eating, or she may volunteer that information. I'd encourage her to tell them as it may impact the treatment she recieves and it could be very helpful for her.

Don't worry too much about what to say to her. Weight loss topics, weight numbers, anything surrounding weight or body image I'd avoid unless she's expressing her struggles to you. But don't worry, if you upset her, chances are she'll tell you.

Remember to take time for yourself. It's great that you're supporting her but remember to take time for yourself as well! It's stressful supporting a friend but you need to remember to take care of yourself, too <3



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Re: How to support my friend? - March 17th 2016, 05:58 PM

Hi there,

I think you sound like a really lovely and caring friend to have. Your friend is very luck to have you looking out for her. I'm glad you've come here for some support.

I going to try and think what I'd want someone to do to help me with my eating disorder. Simply being there for your friend is a good idea. Being a listening ear will be helpful because she clearly trusts you and I think she'll open up to you a lot more than maybe some other people. Even being there for her if she needs to cry. Having a shoulder to cry on can be so comforting and make us feel a little better.

I know you say she's going to be going in to hospital for other mental health issues, but normally they'll do a physical medical check when someone is first admitted including blood tests and weight which will probably make the doctor and staff there have a idea that your friend has got an eating disorder and hopefully they'll talk to her about it but in the mean time I'd encourage her to be honest when she does go into hospital.

Like already said, talking about topics that involve food, weight etc might be good things to steer away from. And I want to remind you that you can get help by talking to someone or to us, to help you manage to support your friend. This can be really hard on a person to take in and if you struggle with it all don't be alone.

I hope this helps and I hope things start to look up for you friend.

Hope and wishes,
Jessie



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Re: How to support my friend? - March 23rd 2016, 08:42 PM

Hey,

Thanks for your replies It's good to know that just listening can already help her a bit.

I've got another question though.
She sometimes tells me about her ED. Like, a few days ago she told me how she reached another weight goal and stuff. Or how she found a trick to get around eating the sweets she got for birthday... I don't know what to say to those. I mean I definitely am not going to congratulate her. Usually I say, you know my opinion on this, or something like that because I don't exactly feel comfortable to openly tell her how it's not good and that it's wrong.
Would it be better to tell her, or should I keep answering to this like I do now?

Sorry if I'm asking stupid questions it's just, I know how to deal with her depression and SH and everything. I've been there I know how it feels and works but I have no idea about EDs and how those work and feel.


It's ok to give in to an urge or make a mistake. You are only human and we all have our flaws. We all have our weak moments and we all make mistakes. Thats what makes us human.
Thats what makes us unique and beautiful

Courage isn't always a loud roar. Sometimes it is a quiet whisper at the end of a day saying: Tomorrow I will try it again!

   
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Re: How to support my friend? - April 1st 2016, 01:37 AM

Yes there aren't many options for what you can do for her.
However what you can do is immense.
Stay her friend and hang out with her no matter how much she wants to talk about food or anything you may find boring. When i had an eating disorder i didn't hang out with anybody and lost a lot of myself. However having a friend as great as you, sounds like a blessing so please stay there for her.
   
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