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Eating Disorders - Advice Needed

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
I have a friend who suffers from depression, anorexia and bulimia. She's been depressed for a few years now and has struggled with accepting herself and her body. She believes she is fat and disgusting and everyone perceives her as the 'fat one'. She goes through phases of starving herself and binge eating and then purging it. She also obsessively exercises all the time.

She has had times where she's been ok and others where she's been really bad. She saw a counsellor for a while last year and that helped a little, but I think she stopped when she realised the problem may be solved. She is scared of facing it all because she feels if she stops it all she will put weight back on.

I'm writing this because I feel now it's got to a really serious point. She has been suicidal before, but recently she said she's been thinking about it even more and she just hates herself so much she sees no point. She's decided to stop eating all together, not even fruit or vegetables. Eating to her is a restricted activity and she says it's not necessary now. This is while she's exercising everyday. I'm so worried she's going to make herself seriously ill. She's also trapped in this negative cycle in which she believes everyone dislikes her and then the fact she cuts herself off and so people either try to talk to her and she believes they just think she's depressed and boring or they give her space which fulfills her thoughts.

I just don't know what to say to her anymore, if I start saying she's not fat and it's her perception of her that needs to change not her body shape, I feel like a broken record and I feel like I'm getting at her. I've suggested she talk to her parents again (I think they try to deny the problem and just act normally) and maybe think about getting help again. But she doesn't want to because she knows it'll make her stop losing weight. She thinks she can go through life without eating; become thin and stay thin. I just know if she can get through this she'll have a wonderful and fulfilling life - she has so much potential and she's such a lovely person. But the obsession with her body image is deteriorating her life. It is the centre of her life.

I'm just really, really scared that if she doesn't break the cycle soon she'll either seriously damage her health, or take her own life.

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think you should consult your parents, a teacher or someone and get her help
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ive seen this happen before-you really need to get her help... but the thing is, she's got to want to get better.

    try talking to her about getting councelling. also try to explain to her that as long as she eats healthily she wont become overweight..

    if you need any more advice, PM me:)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The problem is she doesn't want her parents to be involved. I feel they should know the extent of the problem now, but I couldn't tell them because it'd break her trust.

    I think she knows she needs help, but I can't persuade her. I've tried telling her if she eats healthily and exercises she won't put on weight and I stress that being healthy is the most important thing. But she wants dramatic weight loss and sees starving herself as the only viable option.

    If she was to get help, could she get it for free? She's over 18, but on the NHS maybe? But she's weary of Doctors now too...

    Thanks Clara.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think you definitely need to tell her parents whether thats breaking her trust or not - You do realise anorexics can and often do starve themselves to death dont you? its pretty serious! Even if they dont starve themselves to death they usually have serious health problems for the rest of their lives, so its worthwhile trying to help her and telling someone even if u feel that may be breaking her trust.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by rainbow brite
    I think you definitely need to tell her parents whether thats breaking her trust or not

    i disagree... shes over 18 so there really isnt any need to get them involved if she doesnt want them involved.

    i think if you tell them, itll make her more secretive.. she needs to be able to want to get better before she can actually begin to make a recovery
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by clara
    i disagree... shes over 18 so there really isnt any need to get them involved if she doesnt want them involved.

    i think if you tell them, itll make her more secretive.. she needs to be able to want to get better before she can actually begin to make a recovery



    Would you rather see your friend starve herself to death or to try to get people involved who might be able to make an impact on her life and try to get her the help that she needs?

    I'm not going to say that you have to get other people involved, but I think it would be safer for your friend if she could get the help she really needs before it's too late.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by MySuffice21
    Would you rather see your friend starve herself to death or to try to get people involved who might be able to make an impact on her life and try to get her the help that she needs?

    I'm not going to say that you have to get other people involved, but I think it would be safer for your friend if she could get the help she really needs before it's too late.

    yeah its absolutely fine to get people involved, but i think professionals not her parentls. her parents wouldnt need to know.

    i think if her parents find out, it could make things so much worse... they could have so many reactions, and it would just make home life so much more uncomfortable for her, and she will probably become alot more defensive and secretive.

    Elysium has already said shes tried to tell her parents but they had the reaction of dismissing it. not saying they dont care-its just a thing parents do when they dont know how to accept something...
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You said yourself that everyone perceives her as "the fat one". if you can make that distinction, then she can too, and that is probably at the root of her problems: the fact that for her, *everyone* else is thinner, and she doesnt want it to be that way.

    Things have to change, both in her self-perception and the way she's perceived by others. The first ting to do is, like the others said, get her outside ubiased help. I'm not sure about involving the parents though, in a way it could be beneficial since they could check on her and support her better, buton the other hand she might ot want them to be owrrying about her every time she feels low.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My Dad who is 65 is driving us crazy because he hardly eats these days - espacially since he starting smoking again.

    Now he complains his joints ache, etc and everyone who hasn't seen him for ages is shocked at how thin he's gone. We think it's the change in his diet that is responsable.

    He has packet soup for lunch - not my idea of a decent meal.
    There's tonnes of food in the house so he has no excuses.

    I think the smoking is the cause for his lack of appetite - I've never smoked so perhaps some smokers could enligthen me?
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by clara
    yeah its absolutely fine to get people involved, but i think professionals not her parentls. her parents wouldnt need to know.

    i think if her parents find out, it could make things so much worse... they could have so many reactions, and it would just make home life so much more uncomfortable for her, and she will probably become alot more defensive and secretive.

    Elysium has already said shes tried to tell her parents but they had the reaction of dismissing it. not saying they dont care-its just a thing parents do when they dont know how to accept something...



    Well, please, at least, try to get her professional help. I'm not saying that you have to get her parents involved, but please, at least get some kind of professional help involved in her life and maybe it could possibly help her to realize that she really does need help, after all, but if it doesn't, at least you gave it a shot.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for all your replies.

    Her parents knew before and they were all offered therapy (family therapy) at a professional centre, but her parents turned it down and she didn't want it either. So telling them would make no difference and it would make her more secretive. As Samuti said, they check on her loads and don't deal with it well which makes her even more upset and makes her despise her parents.

    I know she should get professional help, but I can't force her to go. That's what I need help with, I feel I can't keep persuading her because it does annoy her. I may get some of our other friends to suggest it to her because I don't think I'm getting through to her.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Like others have said, the best thing you can do for her is continue to offer her support and get her to seek professional help, either from her GP or the EDA (eating disorders assoication).

    There is a helpline number etc at the bottom of this article on TheSite - eating disorders

    However if you do think it is really serious, then you may need to think about betraying her trust for the sake of her health/life, not an easy decision, but one you may feel you need to make. Seek help and support for yourself by calling the eda helpline, and remember to take care of yourself too, it can be really straining worrying about someone close to you contantly, make sure you keep some time for yourself.

    HTH
    Susie
    :)
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