To think this is a bad choice in course for friend with eating disorder? *warning LONG*

(24 Posts)
milf90 Wed 13-Feb-13 14:21:05

Im going to try and keep this as short as i can, but i think of what i am going to say is relevant and will give you a better idea of the situation. I have wanted to get this off my chest for some time though so i cant garentee i wont ramble on!

So i have been friends with...lets say A, for over 10 years, since school. She always had poor attendance at school and if something knocked her confidence then she would avoid school at all costs. (she once had every thursday off because she got told off in a subject on a thursday)

Our school didnt have a 6th form, so we all had to go somewhere else. A tried 1 DAY at her new 6th form and refused to go back. she then did NOTHING for a year and just stayed at home. her parents didn't tell her to get a job, or try another school, just let her stay at home

the next school year she started at a local college. she lasted until january and dropped out. at first it was great for her confidence, she made lots of new friends etc. but then the same thing seemed to happen where she lost her confidence and again she ended up doing nothing at home. This time her parents strongly encouraged her to get a job. she refused, saying she didnt want to work during the summer hols because ti would be the last one we would have together before i left for uni.

during that summer hol, we went on holiday together. I noticed a dramatic change in her confidence. She refused to go out of the hotel - well she refused to go out the hotel room. i went to the spa one day (by myself, she didnt want to come) and came back to find her sitting in the dark in the hotel room because the electricity had gone off and she didnt ring down to reception sad she also only ate very small amounts (i have used extreme methods to lose weight in the past and know the sneaky ways to get out of eating food etc. so i recognized what she was doing)

when we got back she said she needed to go abroad to 'find herself' and told her parents that she needed a 6 week holiday. they paid??!! whilst over there she decided to stay. her parents had to pay for her again (plus they rented their own villa which only got stayed in a few days every month :s) she said it was her 'university time'....apparently whilst i was off 'having fun' at university, she was off having fun abroad face palm tbh i didnt stay in touch during this time, mostly because i couldnt afford the phone calls and she didnt have internet for a long time and a lot because i was annoyed. anyone else who wanted to go abroad to 'find themselves' had to work and save up first (and actually work whilst they were out there!) - i know i sound very jealous here and i suppose i was, but i think i am right too.

she stayed there for approx 18 months and then it all went wrong and she had to come back. a lot was for 'health reasons'. i was having a crap time in uni accomodation at the time so we decided to rent a place together. she was meant to get a job, but used her health reasons for a reason not to. again she stayed at home all day doing nothing. she got very depressed again. she had also started taking a lot of very strong laxatives (she had her own prescription and was also using her mums prescription and then buying some more on top). she was struggling to get to the toilet on time - so i asked her why she was taking laxatives if she was going too much and she said otherwise she was constipated (she was never constipated, she was always rushing to the toilet, she couldnt leave the house it was that bad)

she moved back home because she collapsed one day when she was on holiday with her parents and they wanted to keep an eye on her. at this point i decided enough was enough and i emailed her dad to tell him how much she was taking and i shared my concerns. her dad emailed me back and asked me if i knew the password to her email address (i did) and he asked me to have a look to see if she had been ordering laxatives online, as she was not leaving the house, yet she seemed to have an unlimited supply of them. i know this isnt a great thing to do, but people with eating disorders are 'sneaky', so it seemed the only way we could help her was to be sneaky back and learn the extent of the problem.

she was ordering laxatives from every online chemist we had heard of and a lot more, including vet chemists!! some of them seemed very dodgy! she was ordering every couple of weeks or so. she was also ordering a lot of diet pills, weight loss pills, fat metabolism, weight loss drinks etc. (she actually still is.)

she got diagnosed with a eating disorder, but nothing was ever done about it. her blood results were ok so they didnt want to hospitalise her. she was supposed to have counselling, but didnt want to go, so didnt. her parents think she is better - but i know she isnt. she still order this stuff, she still hardly eats anything, shes still smaller than a size 6, whereas shes naturally a 12-14.

shes struggled with depression too, but again now its 'ok'.

I personally think a lot of her problems is because she does nothing. she has nothing to aim for, nothing to live for. if i am off work for a week i start getting bored, i cant imagine not doing anything for 7 years.

back to the aibu - she is now really excited because she is starting a nutrition course. i think its great shes doing this course (online, not at a college or anything), but i think 1.it would do her good to get out and go to a college and meet new people (though im not sure if she would stick with it and 2. is this really the best choise of course given her eating disorder??? i know its something that you have to live with, but surely this is too much????

Tee2072 Wed 13-Feb-13 14:22:50

She sounds horribly depressed and like she could use a doctor, not an extremely judgemental friend.

Feminine Wed 13-Feb-13 14:28:01

I agree she needs a Doctor.

Its totally the wrong course, its similar to people with anorexia that read cookery books.

Its all part of her illness.

I'm not sure what you can do to help, but I don't think you are being unreasonable.

milf90 Wed 13-Feb-13 14:29:38

im the only friend who has stuck by her through this. i have done everything i can think of to help her - im now at a loss because her parents and doctor think shes fine, but from what i can see she really isnt.

I agree with what Feminine said.
I also don't think you are being judgemental.
Can you sit her down and have a talk to her?
Discuss this with her and get her to see a doctor?

fluckered Wed 13-Feb-13 14:31:16

i dont find the OP judgemental at all! but agree she needs doc/counselling help. big time!

YANBU it does sound more like it is driven by her eating disorder than anything else. She does seem to need more intervention than she is getting.

fluckered Wed 13-Feb-13 14:32:32

her parents are enabling her with money. where else does she get it to order online ... harsh as it is cut her money (provide roof over head, food and clothes etc) and send her to see someone.

Feminine Wed 13-Feb-13 14:36:24

Can you talk with her parents? It is all too easy to be in denial sometimes...

At this point, I'm sure something can be done.

Reading your op again, I think you know her very well. Can you try again?

milf90 Wed 13-Feb-13 14:37:21

her parents are enabling her with money. where else does she get it to order online ... harsh as it is cut her money (provide roof over head, food and clothes etc) and send her to see someone.

I completely agree, she uses her mum's credit card. she spends £50 on weight loss stuff in one go, it must cost her parents a fortune.

i think they stopped give her pocket money to stop her from doing this, so i dont understand why she is still getting her mums card, do they not realise? is she sneaking it or is her mum giving it to her :S

i should also add that at least her mum is home with her at all times, so its not like she can sneak the parcels in without them noticing.

i think her parents must know shes not right, but are just ignoring it or dont want to see it sad

ChairmanWow Wed 13-Feb-13 14:39:36

You seem to put across mixed messages in your post. On the one hand I do detect some sympathy for her, on the other there are areas where you almost feel resentful towards her, for example when she went abroad. Also accusing her of doing nothing for 7 years.

It sounds like she has a whole bundle of issues - depression, anxiety and of course a serious eating disorder. Her parents probably paid for her to go abroad because they were desperate to do anything that would make her happier. Were you envious? I don't think there's much to envy given how messed up she clearly is.

She needs support from you, her family and some professionals.

As for the course, perhaps it may feed her obsession to study nutrition. It may also help her to understand what her body needs in order to function. You might be best putting your energies into supporting her to get help.

Feminine Wed 13-Feb-13 14:40:49

Anorexics can be very sneaky. They are very clever. her parents are in denial or are being tricked!

Its a very difficult situation for all of you. Your friend is in dire of help, I think you need to assess if you can really be there? (once the can of worms opens)

Its no good if you leave them with your feelings...its long term help that needs to be found.

milf90 Wed 13-Feb-13 14:40:53

*Can you talk with her parents? It is all too easy to be in denial sometimes...

At this point, I'm sure something can be done.

Reading your op again, I think you know her very well. Can you try again?*

i talk to her parents every time im by myself with them when i am at hers, but they say shes fine and keep saying about her blood results

this is going to sound awful - but we dont really talk about the eating disorder. maybe this is where im going wrong?? its like the elephant in the corner every time we see each other, but neither of us mentions it. maybe this is where i can help?

Feminine Wed 13-Feb-13 14:44:59

They will naturally be defensive of her, do you know the family well enough truly to stick your beak in? (mean that nicely wink)

My brother suffered from it, at 6ft 4 , he weighed 130 pounds. Its very difficult to get help for over 18's. Do you think they have ever tried?

SomethingProfound Wed 13-Feb-13 14:50:13

Contact these guys beat. They provide support to families of those suffering from eating disorders they may be able to give you some advice on how to proceed.

Good luck

Arcticwaffle Wed 13-Feb-13 15:16:33

One of my best friends was anorexic and became a dietician/nutritionist. She said, "well, I'm obsessed with food anyway, I might as well make a career out of it". and she's been very successful.

I had lots of friends with eating disorders at university, it was very prevalent, in fact it was rare to meet someone who'd just order a pudding, and all the ones I can think of went into caring/health oriented professions - medicine, psychiatry, clinical psychology, dieticians.

mmmuffins Wed 13-Feb-13 15:25:44

Along the lines of what ArticWaffle said, I can see why your friend would be attracted to a nutrition course. It is in essence her main interest already.

It must be a bit frustrating for you to watch your friend hurt herself though. Not sure what you can do to help.

Firstly, I think you're a good friend to be so concerned about her, and I don't think you're judgemental at all. What I do think is that her behaviour is not going to be changed by limiting her access to money, nor by changing the course she wants to do. I think she needs professional help - for her family and friends to confront her about her eating disorder and confidence issues is not going to be enough to change her behaviour, it's beyond that, and will put her at odds with the very people she's going to need for support during recovery. Having said that, I think you need to acknowledge the 'elephant in the room' - and let her know that you're there for her - pretending it's not happening is doing no one any favours. By getting her (or rather by her parents getting her) professional help you would be then free to be supportive (as opposed to enabling or turning a blind eye to her issues).

KatieMiddleton Wed 13-Feb-13 15:37:29

What Tee said. She sounds ill. You sound very judgemental and resentful.

I also don't understand why you think you know better than her doctor.

Re the course, be supportive, be interested, be a friend.

milf90 Wed 13-Feb-13 16:34:04

I can understand why people think I am being judgemental - but I know her very well an I'm pretty sure her upbringing of having a lot of money but not shown the value of it, work ethic etc. hasn't given her the motivation to get qualifications and a career and I feel this is where her depression stems from (amateur psychologist I know)

As for the person who said something about me thinkin she has done bothing with her life - se has spent much of the last 7 years at home. All day, every day. I wasn't being mean, I mean literally she has done nothing.

It's lovely to hear positive stories about other people with ed who have doe the course - this gives me a bit of hope!

I'm very close to her family byw so yhey don't think in stucking my eak in ;)

Branleuse Wed 13-Feb-13 17:01:39

it sounds like her self esteem issues are absolutely crippling her. Maybe nutrition is something she feels she could be really good at.
try and be supportive

SirBoobAlot Wed 13-Feb-13 19:20:29

You think a lot of her problems are caused because she isn't doing anything. But you're not considering why she isn't. You seem to know the words 'depression' and 'eating disorders' but not what they entail. And yes, I think you sound judgmental.

A lot of my friends with eating disorders have studied things like nutrition. It then becomes a positive control thing.

She is taking a brave step signing up to a course, and if she is that ill, she is better off doing it from home, as just the journey time will exhaust her.

Be supportive, don't tell her that she is doing it wrong. And stop with the bullshit trying to work out why she is ill - there may well be a lot that you don't know. So for the sake of her sanity, don't do any of that crap with her, it really won't help.

milf90 Thu 14-Feb-13 12:14:44

Of course I am supportive (I have been nothing but for the last 7 years, and a lot of it is one sided) and I don't tell her what she is doing is wrong, why would I do that?

Sirboonalot no of course I have no idea what they entail hmm did you read op?

Mitchy1nge Thu 14-Feb-13 13:06:53

sorry this is such a pointless question but who on earth is a 'natural' size 12-14, unless they are really really really tall?

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