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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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Exclamation I'm a worried friend... - November 30th 2017, 12:43 PM

[SIZE="a"]For the past year I've been concerned for the health of my friend. For anonymity, I'll call her 'R'. I've been seeing some changes in R's health during school and many of our friends have noticed too. It wasn't until mid this year I had a talk with our group of friends (excluding R) about the possibility of her having an eating disorder. Here are the reasons why I thought so:

1. She doesn't bring food to school anymore and I was suspicious considering the fact that she used to bring lunches to school since I first met her (2 or so years ago).

2. R counts calories. When we offer her food (say for example a packet of chips) her immediate reaction is to go look at the nutrition label and count the amount of calories in the food.

3. She constantly looks down on her appearance and it's usually concerning her weight such as "I'm so fat" or "I hate the fat in my arms" and similar comments.

Some points I've noticed but not sure correlate with eating disorders:
- She's always pale but in a sickly way
- She's usually cold despite it being a hot summer where we live
- She gets light headed very easily (laughing a lot, moving around a lot and more cause it)

I was skeptical but I didn't want to act without reasoning. A few days ago during class, she was light headed and said she felt (and looked) like she was going to faint. Our teacher asked R if she had anything to eat in the morning and she said she doesn't eat breakfast. I went to get water from her bag but she didn't bring any. Our teacher sent us outside so she could get some air but she could barely stand and her breathing was shallow.

I was scared and I wasn't sure what to do. I could only comfort her but I felt like I wasn't doing much to help. I'm writing this post in hopes someone could tell me whether or not she has an eating disorder and if so, how to confront and help her about it. I'm really worried for her and I want to do my best to help her.

I'm sorry about the lengthy post, I thought it would be better if I could provide details.
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Re: I'm a worried friend... - November 30th 2017, 04:16 PM

Hey there.

You're doing the right thing being concerned for your friend. Is there a school counsellor or school nurse that you're able to talk to about her? You could try and talk to R about your thoughts but don't make her feel guilty about it, you just tell her that you'll be there for her no matter what but it's important that she needs help, she may not want it but just be there for her.


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Re: I'm a worried friend... - December 7th 2017, 10:47 AM

Hello!

I think that you're doing the right thing.. but I suspect that something might have come up. Such as a trip to the hospital that might have revealed something bad ( here's hoping that's not the case ) or maybe a body image issue. If you could get in touch with her family ( not such a good idea because she might not like it , but it could be the best solution if it turns out that there's something bad going on ) then it might help shed light on whatever's going on.

For now, keep an eye on your friend and try to encourage her to eat healthily.

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Re: I'm a worried friend... - December 7th 2017, 03:35 PM

Hello,
I am so sorry that you are having a hard time with this right now. When you are really good friends with someone you don't want anything bad to happen to them and you're a great friend trying to get some help with this.
Up about was saying about can you try talking to the school counsellor or school nurse because they are licensed in a lot of different areas and this is one of them and the can help you and you're friend with this. Or if you have a really good teacher that you are able to talk with about this too. Also if you are having a hard time telling them you can also write a letter and put everything in it that is happening and say that you need some help with this. I hope that you can find someone to help you and you and you're friend will be ok soon. Hugs.
   
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Re: I'm a worried friend... - December 8th 2017, 02:45 AM

Hey there,

Unfortunately, none of us can diagnose your friend. I can say, that some of the things you described could be due to her having disordered eating or an eating disorder. However, there are also plenty of other medical issues that could cause them as well.

In regards to talking to her, my best advice would be that you let her know that you are concerned about some of the things you have been noticing. Let her know that you are there to support her and then see if she will look into talking to the school counselor. If you talk to her, she very well might get defensive which will probably lead to you feeling kind of badly but the one thing I can say is that it's probably better to talk to her about it and have her get upset than leave her be and have her get sick. If she is struggling with an eating disorder it is important that she gets help for it.

If you talk to her and it doesn't result in her seeking help from a counselor or another trusted adult it might be a good idea for you to consider talking to the counselor at your school or a teacher. Let them know what you have noticed and let them know that you think she might have an eating disorder. Usually, teachers and counselors will, at the very least, talk to the student to see if they can figure out what is going on.

Best regards.



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