How to help a friend who may have an eating disorder
It can be scary when a friend develops an eating disorder. Here’s what you can do:
1. Learn as much as you can about eating disorders before confronting her.
2. Tell her you are concerned about her and suspect she might have an eating disorder. Offer specific observations like, "I heard you throwing up in a bathroom stall twice last week."
3. Suggest she be evaluated by an expert. It's doubtful she'll be receptive but important that you tell her.
4. Hand her a list of resources:
The Renfrew Center, www.renfrew.org
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, www.anad.org
National Eating Disorders Association, www.edap.org
Academy for Eating Disorders, www.aedweb.org
6. Tell a professional (nurse, guidance counselor, coach, teacher) that you suspect your friend has an eating disorder.
7. Realize you've done what you can. You can't force help on someone who doesn't want it.
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