I think my best friend has an ED (TW)
Hi, I really need some advice. I think my friend may have an eating disorder. I wouldn’t say that it is too serious Currently but I am afraid if I don’t do something now it may get worse. At school she doesn’t eat, but if a friend offers her like a bit of a snack she usually says yes. However she has lost a bit of weight that I’ve noticed, she is still definitely at a healthy weight but I am concerned. I myself have an eating disorder and have been currently really struggling with it (I’m sort of in the process of getting help, but I don’t want this too be about my struggles), so as much as I want to help her before it gets worse I have been afraid as I don’t want my eating issues to be brought up. In the past I had another friend with an Ed and quite a young age who was also my best friend like this person is and she had been through a lot and we’re not really in touch anymore and I was like 9 at the time and didn’t really understand and I did nothing and let her get worse. I promised myself I wouldn’t let that happen again. I told myself if i ever saw another friend or person struggling I would do something and not wait till things get bad. But I really don’t know what to do. I don’t know how I can help this person who I care so much about without her bringing up my eating disorder. I don’t want her to get to my position with food but I feel so guilty. I don’t know if it is my fault but I just feel as though my issues with food influenced her, i don’t ever talk about food but I’m afraid I’m the reason she may have an ed. I’ve read so many things on how to support a friend or loved one but they never mention what to do when you also in a really bad mental health place. what should I do? Please I’m really scared.
We are really sorry you are feeling this way and that you are feeling distressed about what might be happening for your friend. We can hear that you are a kind and compassionate person who is doing their best to support someone close to you. Thank you for sharing this with us today and for being a part of this community.
We think it is really important that you feel like you can look after yourself first of all. Before we can help others, we need to make sure we keep ourselves safe and this can mean not engaging in topics that can trigger us.
We think it could be a great option to give the Butterfly Foundation a call on 1800 33 4673. They are experts in Eating Disorders and can offer you support on how to look after your own wellbeing while looking after your friend.
Thank you for your post today and for being a part of this lovely community. Please feel free to update us here on how you are going, if you are comfortable.
I'm sorry for what you are going through. I too have felt the way you do, and this feeling isn't pleasant.
I wholeheartedly agree with Sophie_M. Before you start helping others, it is crucial that you make sure you are in the right shape, both mentally and physically. However, if you really feel that your friend is in urgent need of help, you could perhaps bring her weight loss to her attention and suggest that she see a GP who could actually assess her health.
Please keep in mind that whenever you feel triggered in the process, you are more than welcome to talk to a counsellor on Beyond Blue and/or Kids Help Line at https://kidshelpline.com.au