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Is my friend anorexic? If so, how can I help

(18 Posts)
Lazymazy1 Wed 19-Oct-16 18:21:30

Firstly to say, I'm not ever so close to my friend but we meet up now and again with our Dcs.
She is desperately thin. She doesn't eat when we all eat, ie children come over for lunch, she dent want anything. She eats protein shakes x 2 as she admits to finding it hard to gain weight .
She goes to the gym "to gain muscle"
Fainting spells.
I know nothing about Anorexia but is denial a common theme?
She is just going through divorce split 18 months ago, but admits being happy single ( she left ) . Can anyone advise, if I talk to her about it is it likely just to get more excuses? What can I do?

Lazymazy1 Thu 20-Oct-16 14:53:07


Smartleatherbag Thu 20-Oct-16 14:55:21

Hi Lazy, just answering v quickly as school run approacheth. It's good that you have identified that your friend may have a problem. I am a former anorexic. She probably knows she's acting abnormally. Just let her know that you are there if she wants you.

Me2017 Thu 20-Oct-16 19:15:52

It doesn't sound too good but she may be okay. Do you know her weight? That often decides it. 8 stone normal weight fine and it's just fat people jealous she is a good weight. 6 - 7 stone almost certainly anorexia unless very short indeed.

abeandhalo Thu 20-Oct-16 19:27:07

I have had 2 anorexic friends & I'd say your instincts are usually right. But there's really nothing you can do because sometimes either they don't realise, or they aren't yet ready to admit it to themselves, or they can't talk about it yet because they aren't yet ready to get better.

In my experience, it is usually a method of control when you feel you can't control other factors in your life.

I don't really have any advice other than make sure she knows you're there for her when she is ready and needs treatment!

paintingisfun Thu 20-Oct-16 19:48:16

me I am just over 7 stone and have been for 30 years and have definitely not got an eating disorder so not sure it is a perfect indicator.

MrsJayy Thu 20-Oct-16 19:51:10

Yes she probably has an eating disorder it's such a shame there is nothing you can do sadly to help you can't change people's mind set.

MrsJayy Thu 20-Oct-16 19:54:01

Weight doesn't always indicate disordered eating I'm 7.5 but I eat fine . What you could say if she mentions is again is say something like you could eat x Y z to help build muscle

Albadross Thu 20-Oct-16 19:58:33

Agree just let her know you 'see' her and are there if she needs you. She probably knows it's not normal, but it's pretty hard to talk about it because as an adult there's not much support and it can feel (or did for me) like as a parent you should be thinking of the DCs and not starving yourself to death.

Other signs to look out for that might at least help you start a dialogue about it:

- Brittle nails
- Very dry and flakey skin, especially on hands
- Thinning or just lacklustre hair
- Lanugo (layer of fine hair you might see around jaw line that wasn't there before)
- Sallow skin, dark circles under the eyes
- Tooth marks on knuckles
- Mouth ulcers, cracked lips
- Chronic bad breath

Be aware though these are not specific to EDs. Bear in mind she could just have IBS, or something going on with her bowels/stomach.

Ohyesiam Thu 20-Oct-16 19:58:36

Let her know you are there for her. Your instincts sound right

Lazymazy1 Thu 20-Oct-16 21:23:49

Thank you, yes her hair is thinning also. Her face looks skeletal, dark circles etc. But I guess from your responses, even if she is unwell there is nothing really I can do or say to help her just to make sure she knows I'm there. Thank you for the responses.

Lazymazy1 Thu 20-Oct-16 21:25:23

You don't think I should send some info anonymously?

tygr Thu 20-Oct-16 21:32:32

Might be worth checking out some organisations that specialise in eating disorders for advice.

I don't have personal experience but I think I'd prefer someone telling me that they were concerned than receiving anonymous info.

Lazymazy1 Thu 20-Oct-16 21:46:27

Thanks had a look at these - v helpful thanks. Think you're right about annon posting info. Think she would get really angry if I directly mentioned anorexia

MrsJayy Thu 20-Oct-16 22:11:46

I had a neighbour I was friendly with kids were at toddler group together she had an ED that she told me about so she was aware and talking about it and getting treatment any way she moved I saw her a few months ago after 15 years and she looked skeletal it took my breath away but of course we passed the hello how are you I just couldn't believe how frail she looked it's tragic. So I imagine you are really concerned about her but you are really stuck on helping her if she doesn't want to talk about it.

MrsJayy Thu 20-Oct-16 22:14:47

If she is ill sending her anon information might make her paranoid and really uncomfortable. Imagine how you would feel if someone popped helpful leaflets through your door or into your email

Lazymazy1 Fri 21-Oct-16 19:06:57

Feel very powerless to help. Her close friend believed all of the excuses about not being able to put on weight and gym to put on muscle.
But I won't send any info - you are all right. Such a very big Shame . Her life should be starting again after coming out of an abusive marriage 🙁

Albadross Sat 22-Oct-16 18:13:58

EDs are often a coping mechanism so it's almost to be expected that she might struggle after the end of her marriage - even if it was abusive. It becomes comforting.

Thinking about it I do remember thinking that if I really was thin, people would tell me and nobody did. They told me right up until it got really serious, then it suddenly became taboo. If she has brought up going to the gym maybe you could ask her about what she eats for training and try and gauge her reaction?

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