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Can you help?

(6 Posts)
PeppermintPasty Tue 03-May-16 13:52:47

Hello. I am possibly out of my depth and I could do with some seriously practical suggestions to help a friend.

Not just any old friend. She's my closest friend of the last 15 years, or has been.

All the time I've known her she has battled with an eating disorder, she binges, sometimes throws up sometimes doesn't.

She has body dysmorphia (as I understand it) in that she is very slim, possibly too thin, and cannot see that. She just has full scale revulsion going on, her brain is in chaos.

She has sought out treatment over the years, involving anti depressants, counselling, CBT, even some kind of electro therapy treatment I think.

I myself suffered from bulimia for six years or so many moons ago, so I understand a fair bit.

She has gone up and down in her moods in those years. Fairly recently, (in last two to three years) can't recall exactly when, she started using the term bi polar. Sometimes I can specifically and openly talk about the treatment she has had with her, sometimes she actively avoids talking, so even as her close friend I can't tell you that she has actually been diagnosed with that, although I suspect she has.

I really want to help her. I want to take it all away and soothe her. I know that I can't.

In the last couple of weeks she has told me that now she is going to AA, as she was regularly drinking a bottle of wine a day at least, to avoid eating food at crisis points. Of course, the drink has now quickly brought her to another crisis point, she sees weight gain and even more mood fluctuations. She has stopped drinking at the moment, and is going to group therapy.

I've offered help in any form she can take. Ok, but the thing is, she won't necessarily take it. Her modus operandi is to withdraw and withdraw, until she isolates herself at home and never/rarely goes out. A good few years ago I had to almost stage an intervention of sorts to force her out of her isolation. It worked to a degree and she began to put structures in place to help herself.

This latest news about AA has floored me a bit, but I'm so glad she's actively seeking help. But I'm worried. I suspect you are of course rightly going to say that I need to stand by prepared to support her with whatever, but I feel like she has got worse over the last say, four or five years, and I am worried for future and where it will end. -having said that, I don't think she is suicidal or anything, just in total despair.

I am sorry for the length of this. Has anyone got any insight? Anything massively helpful and practical you think I could do?

amarmai Tue 03-May-16 14:49:08

so sorry to read this and have no basis for giving advice. Something is at the bottom of all this . You are a wonderful friend and altho you understand from your own experience , this sounds so severe IMO she needs professional help. AA may be able to help her.

PeppermintPasty Tue 03-May-16 18:41:07

Thank you for responding. You're right, there's more to it and she's said as much tonight. She absolutely hates herself and I just don't know where to start.

Bloody awful feeling so useless when someone you love is in so much pain.

SleepingTiger Tue 03-May-16 20:49:14

This will go on unless and until she hits rock bottom and realises she has to embrace the full healthcare package that is available (which if she is in the UK is being cut). Five to ten years of counselling and some inpatient treatment over several months in batches.
The starting point is her teaching rock bottom. She has to surrender.

SleepingTiger Tue 03-May-16 20:49:55

Reaching rock bottom.

PeppermintPasty Tue 03-May-16 21:19:15

Well, I think of late she has been the worst I've ever seen her, more...hopeless, more despairing, less able to pull herself out of it. She has fewer 'highs'. I'm not sure what rock bottom would look like, I mean, it looks pretty bad now. But I see what you mean.

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