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In need of some advice.... touch and go subject

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dragonfly411

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I have a friend that I have known since highschool. We were good friends until about two years ago, and we''ve sortof drifted simply due to different schedules, and meeting new people and what not but we are still in touch a lot and get together now and again. She''s always been a very small girl naturally. She''s been through two very rough relationships, and has always had lower self esteem. Here recently she has lost a lot of weight, to the point that she looks unhealthy in all her recent photos, too thin, and pale and worn out. She has been suffering from nose bleeds a lot recently as well. She simply looks malnourished. She broke up with a boyfriend recently, and keeps telling me she is just stressed but I feel like there is more to it. She has been partying a lot, and drinking a lot. I''m worried that she might be suffering, and even falling into an eating disorder. Like I said, she has always had low self esteem and loves when people tell her she is thin. I''m afraid she''s become fixated on this. I feel like I need to say something, as I am very worried for her at this point, but I don''t know how she would react, or if she would listen. I have other friends of ours who agree, and we''re almost considering taking her to lunch and talking to her about it, I just don''t know if it will anger her. Has anyone ever gone through this?
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Wow, I''m sorry to hear about your friend. That must be hard to observe. If I were in your position I would say something and if I were in her position, I think deep down I would want someone to say something to me. Depression can take on many forms and it sounds like she''s got a whopping case of it.

If you really decide to do an intervention, I would speak with a professional first about how to confront her but not alienate her as she''s so fragile already. I would also consider involving her family if possible. Friends are easy enough to ignore, but it''s hard to ignore your mom, dad, and/or siblings confronting you. They might be struggling with the same decision, or they might not even know about the situation.

Good luck! I would be thankful to have a friend who cared as much as you do.
 

Porridge

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From experience I can tell you that forcing the issue will drive your friend away. It's a really difficult situation. Maybe feel around to see if other friends have noticed (discreetly!!). The best thing you can do is be supportive and boost her self esteem, but don't talk about her weight. Unless you say something like "yes but I think you looked fabulous at (slightly higher) weight - you're skin was glowing". Something brief.

ETA good point Hudson - a counselor is a great idea if you and other friends/family feel it's best to say something. There's lots of help out there for friends of sufferers.
 

OUpearlgirl

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Ditto HH. She sounds like she really needs help. I think that if she has an eating disorder, it will be worth it to lose her as a friend if it saves her life. There is no easy way to say it, but talking to a counselor first is a great idea.

I had to confront a friend two years ago about this issue. She didn''t speak to me for a few months, but she finally got help. Once she was better she thanked me profusely and says that if it hadn''t been for me she could have died.
 

kittybean

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I''m sorry to hear your friend may not be well. I have had a few friends go through eating disorders, and it is scary and difficult to watch.

I''m not sure if I would say something to her directly. I would probably seek out the person closest to her (her mom, sister, boyfriend, or whoever), then alert that person to the problem and see if they might want to intervene in some way. In my limited experience, I''ve found that people are much more willing to "forgive" the person who intervened if they are very, very close to them; it is harder to write them off completely, even if they''re saying something the person with the problem does not want to hear. So, maybe as a first step, find that close person and mention to them that you''re worried about your friend.

I hope your friend gets well soon.
 

Kaleigh

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This is so hard. I am thankful you want to help. But you have to do so in a manner that will get through to her, and accepted by her. That''s the toughest part of this. Many times they don''t want to hear it, are not ready to get help, you know the drill. Denial denial...

I wouldn''t do it at a girls lunch. If anything, you can take her aside and say, I love you and know you are going through some hard times. I am here for you if you want to talk. Leaving it open ended is best.

If you are very close with her family, you can enlist them... Hopefully they are as concerned as you are.

You sound like a terrific friend. Best of luck with all of this. HUGS.
 

LAJennifer

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My first thought was cocaine addiction.
 

jcarlylew

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Date: 2/16/2009 6:23:44 PM
Author: OUpeargirl
Ditto HH. She sounds like she really needs help. I think that if she has an eating disorder, it will be worth it to lose her as a friend if it saves her life. There is no easy way to say it, but talking to a counselor first is a great idea.

I had to confront a friend two years ago about this issue. She didn''t speak to me for a few months, but she finally got help. Once she was better she thanked me profusely and says that if it hadn''t been for me she could have died.
ditto - don''t worry about saving your friendship. worry about helping your friend.

if you can talk to your doctor, i would suggest it as well. They might have some good references for you to bring up with your friend. Its going to be hard, and some nasty words might be said. but you will know that you were there.

I cannot stress enough to not gossip about it to the other friends. Approach the one who needs the help first. If you have no luck there, then move on to friends and family.

good luck! you are a WONDERFUL person for caring so much!!
 

tlh

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I am a terrible friend. So take everything I say with a grain of salt.

My friends are mostly guys. I have a select few female friends that have lasted through the years... I''ve been friends with one girl for over 15 years... and known her for longer. She has always been thin. I never knew that this became an obsession with her. Never occurred to me she might have a problem when all of her other girlfriends were barfing bulimics and exercise bulimics and a couple anorexics. I just thought, eh, it is a phase some girls go through... and stayed as far away from the girls "with issues" as I could. (I hate drama, and find it unhealthy to surround yourself entirely with emotionally needy people.) But she was friends with them. It wasn''t until years later, when just YEARS of behaviour didn''t make sense... and comments she would make that I started google-ing "is my friend anorexic?" when I found what are called "pro-anna" or pro-annorexia websites. They gave you hints on how to hide these behaviors from others.... and after seeing this site, I knew I was a HORRIBLE friend. My friend did these things... because she was always rewarded for being tiny. But think... those really frail little girls you knew eventually fill out a little. They do not look like Nicole Richie when they grow up. I mean that... she was trying to maintain a weight of 80 pounds... at 5''3". I am the same height, and everyone things I am "the heavy friend" because I outweighed her by 35 pounds... heaven forbid the holidays when I might pork up closer to 40 pounds heavier! *GASP* She eventually gained some weight, and now tries to stay under 100 pounds... this almost 20 pound difference and she gets hit on a lot more... but I worry. What are things she did? I could list them out if you are interested... but they were subtle. Nothing that would pop out at you... but overtime, it built this really weird pattern... but unfortunately it took me years to put it all together.
Nosebleeds can happen with girls that are anorexic or bulimic... the vomiting can irritate the nose and cause it to bleed.. but so can cocaine. Also, some girls do turn to drugs, in order to continue to not eat, when their willpower goes weak. Nosebleeds do happen w/ any drug that has been inhaled, and you can snort cocaine, heroine, or meth.

Talking to her is the worst thing you can do. You said you are in and out of her life. You are not a stable friend. If there is a problem she will turn on you and block you out. I totally agree with HH. It is harder to ignore parents and siblings. They may have noticed too. Talking to a counselor can help... as can doing some research on the sites that ENCOURAGE this behavior. They tell you a lot more about what is going on in a person... and you can see, if you think your friend fits the mold.

About me and my friend. I never confronted her. I started putting things together years later. I just was happy that she still lived at home w/ her parents. I think they have known... because she basically didn''t go to college, and had never left home. When she became self confident (cosmetolegy school) and began to take pride in her appearance, she did hit a few rough patches along the way (I don''t know if she was doing drugs, but I know for a fact she was hanging out with FREQUENT cocaine users. I know for a fact because he got disinherited from the family business for his cocaine addiction.)... but I think she''s on top now. She is living with her fiancee who is a nice boy... and they are planning their wedding. I say I think, because I live 1500 miles away, and try to keep touch, but well.. it is hard. Communication is a two way street, and both sides must remain open.... good luck to you. You are at a better position than I was when I lived closer to my friend... you can see the signs, and not take YEARS to add together the pieces.
 

bee*

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Date: 2/16/2009 5:56:52 PM
Author: Hudson_Hawk
Wow, I''m sorry to hear about your friend. That must be hard to observe. If I were in your position I would say something and if I were in her position, I think deep down I would want someone to say something to me. Depression can take on many forms and it sounds like she''s got a whopping case of it.


If you really decide to do an intervention, I would speak with a professional first about how to confront her but not alienate her as she''s so fragile already. I would also consider involving her family if possible. Friends are easy enough to ignore, but it''s hard to ignore your mom, dad, and/or siblings confronting you. They might be struggling with the same decision, or they might not even know about the situation.


Good luck! I would be thankful to have a friend who cared as much as you do.
I agree with all this.
 

dragonfly411

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Thank you all very much for taking the time to respond. I definitely don''t think it is cocaine. She has never ever been around people who do drugs, and finds people that do them disgusting. I really think this is an eating thing. Like I said, she''s always been fixated on her weight. I am in and out of her life yes, but we are very close still due to our history, we''ve known each other since middle school. I''m considering sending a message to another friend we used to share, who I don''t talk to anymore, but who has known her longer and might have some insight as to how to handle the situation. I do think talking to a councilor would be good, thanks for suggesting that. I''m just worried for her. I look at her pictures and wonder when she''s going to pass out in one of those clubs.
Even if we don''t see each other as much as we''d like, I want to be there for her.
 

Lorelei

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This is terribly difficult DF, I wish you luck and really hope you can help your friend.
 

Steel

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Dragonfly, you are a good friend to worry.


Date: 2/16/2009 5:59:22 PM
Author: Porridge
From experience I can tell you that forcing the issue will drive your friend away. It''s a really difficult situation. Maybe feel around to see if other friends have noticed (discreetly!!). The best thing you can do is be supportive and boost her self esteem, but don''t talk about her weight. Unless you say something like ''yes but I think you looked fabulous at (slightly higher) weight - you''re skin was glowing''. Something brief.

ETA good point Hudson - a counselor is a great idea if you and other friends/family feel it''s best to say something. There''s lots of help out there for friends of sufferers.
Porridge explains what I would have posted perfectly.
+1
 

cbs102

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Date: 2/16/2009 8:02:42 PM
Author: LAJennifer
My first thought was cocaine addiction.
that is exactly what i was thinking. cocaine cause nose bleeds and rapid weight loss.
 

dragonfly411

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Again - I def don''t think it''s cocaine or any drugs. She''s never ever believed in that. I found out yesterday that her ex who she is still dwelling on used to tell her that she was "hot" but if she worked out she''d be "really hot"


Now she''s decided she''s going to jog so "he knows what kind of hot he''s missing out on"

I told her I wanted her to try out my eating and workout schedule because it gives me plenty of energy, and I do a lot of sculpting with my cardio to BUILD muscle and not lose a lot of weight. She agreed. So I''m pulling some of that together today. I do a 1500-2000 calorie a day eating schedule, so hopefully she''ll try it.

In the mean time I''m going to speak with my mom tonight about finding a councilor to speak with.
 

Lorelei

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Date: 2/18/2009 10:33:08 AM
Author: dragonfly411
Again - I def don''t think it''s cocaine or any drugs. She''s never ever believed in that. I found out yesterday that her ex who she is still dwelling on used to tell her that she was ''hot'' but if she worked out she''d be ''really hot''


Now she''s decided she''s going to jog so ''he knows what kind of hot he''s missing out on''

I told her I wanted her to try out my eating and workout schedule because it gives me plenty of energy, and I do a lot of sculpting with my cardio to BUILD muscle and not lose a lot of weight. She agreed. So I''m pulling some of that together today. I do a 1500-2000 calorie a day eating schedule, so hopefully she''ll try it.

In the mean time I''m going to speak with my mom tonight about finding a councilor to speak with.
Maybe in her mind she is thinking that she wasn''t thin enough or '' hot'' enough for him and that was the reason they split, and is hoping to win him back by getting even thinner....I really hope she can overcome this and find a way to be healthy.
 

Steel

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Date: 2/18/2009 10:33:08 AM
Author: dragonfly411
Again - I def don''t think it''s cocaine or any drugs. She''s never ever believed in that. I found out yesterday that her ex who she is still dwelling on used to tell her that she was ''hot'' but if she worked out she''d be ''really hot''


Now she''s decided she''s going to jog so ''he knows what kind of hot he''s missing out on''

I told her I wanted her to try out my eating and workout schedule because it gives me plenty of energy, and I do a lot of sculpting with my cardio to BUILD muscle and not lose a lot of weight. She agreed. So I''m pulling some of that together today. I do a 1500-2000 calorie a day eating schedule, so hopefully she''ll try it.

In the mean time I''m going to speak with my mom tonight about finding a councilor to speak with.
The poor woman. It is horrible that she has taken his criticisms to heart in this way.

Well done for supporting her.
 

cbs102

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Dragonfly, before i met me FI i was in a relationship that was VERY similar to this. The guy would constantly tell me that i looked great but that i needed to go to the gym to ''tone''. i put myself on a diet- got down to a 0 and began passing out at work. i had to go to a nutritionist to get myself back on track. its a bad thing when you go down that road... basically starving yourself for a guy that should appreciate you as you are. i thought about it all the time... why am i not good enough..blah blah blah.

it took me a long time to get over it. there was nothing that anyone could say or do that helped me. i had to do it on my own.
 

tlh

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Date: 2/18/2009 1:40:02 PM
Author: cbs102
Dragonfly, before i met me FI i was in a relationship that was VERY similar to this. The guy would constantly tell me that i looked great but that i needed to go to the gym to ''tone''. i put myself on a diet- got down to a 0 and began passing out at work. i had to go to a nutritionist to get myself back on track. its a bad thing when you go down that road... basically starving yourself for a guy that should appreciate you as you are. i thought about it all the time... why am i not good enough..blah blah blah.

it took me a long time to get over it. there was nothing that anyone could say or do that helped me. i had to do it on my own.
That is a backhanded compliment. Men ahve been doing that for years.
 

cbs102

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Date: 2/18/2009 2:00:48 PM
Author: tlh

Date: 2/18/2009 1:40:02 PM
Author: cbs102
Dragonfly, before i met me FI i was in a relationship that was VERY similar to this. The guy would constantly tell me that i looked great but that i needed to go to the gym to ''tone''. i put myself on a diet- got down to a 0 and began passing out at work. i had to go to a nutritionist to get myself back on track. its a bad thing when you go down that road... basically starving yourself for a guy that should appreciate you as you are. i thought about it all the time... why am i not good enough..blah blah blah.

it took me a long time to get over it. there was nothing that anyone could say or do that helped me. i had to do it on my own.
That is a backhanded compliment. Men ahve been doing that for years.
its an abusive statement when i was clearly starving myself and working out ALL THE TIME
 

tlh

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Date: 2/18/2009 2:07:21 PM
Author: cbs102

Date: 2/18/2009 2:00:48 PM
Author: tlh


Date: 2/18/2009 1:40:02 PM
Author: cbs102
Dragonfly, before i met me FI i was in a relationship that was VERY similar to this. The guy would constantly tell me that i looked great but that i needed to go to the gym to ''tone''. i put myself on a diet- got down to a 0 and began passing out at work. i had to go to a nutritionist to get myself back on track. its a bad thing when you go down that road... basically starving yourself for a guy that should appreciate you as you are. i thought about it all the time... why am i not good enough..blah blah blah.

it took me a long time to get over it. there was nothing that anyone could say or do that helped me. i had to do it on my own.
That is a backhanded compliment. Men ahve been doing that for years.
its an abusive statement when i was clearly starving myself and working out ALL THE TIME
I am sorry if I offended you. That is unfortunately the point of a backhanded compliment. It is a hidden insult, and most often used with emotionally abusive men. I am very sorry you went through that... my point was that it happens more often than we''d care to think about... I was not trying to make light of the situation. I apologise.
 

cbs102

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Date: 2/18/2009 2:17:36 PM
Author: tlh

Date: 2/18/2009 2:07:21 PM
Author: cbs102


Date: 2/18/2009 2:00:48 PM
Author: tlh



Date: 2/18/2009 1:40:02 PM
Author: cbs102
Dragonfly, before i met me FI i was in a relationship that was VERY similar to this. The guy would constantly tell me that i looked great but that i needed to go to the gym to ''tone''. i put myself on a diet- got down to a 0 and began passing out at work. i had to go to a nutritionist to get myself back on track. its a bad thing when you go down that road... basically starving yourself for a guy that should appreciate you as you are. i thought about it all the time... why am i not good enough..blah blah blah.

it took me a long time to get over it. there was nothing that anyone could say or do that helped me. i had to do it on my own.
That is a backhanded compliment. Men ahve been doing that for years.
its an abusive statement when i was clearly starving myself and working out ALL THE TIME
I am sorry if I offended you. That is unfortunately the point of a backhanded compliment. It is a hidden insult, and most often used with emotionally abusive men. I am very sorry you went through that... my point was that it happens more often than we''d care to think about... I was not trying to make light of the situation. I apologise.
I am not offended at all. This was one of the hardest relationship to move on from. i didn''t have physical scars- i had emotional ones... i would crave the smallest compliment from him..totally pathetic...but abusive. i no longet call that relationship anything BUT abusive. This girl is probably going through something so similar. however, there is nothing that anyone can so...she HAS to do it on her own.
 

Italiahaircolor

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I have no real advice...just wanted to offer support...friend issues are hard...((big hugs))
 

dragonfly411

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I wanted to thank everyone again for the advice. I''m going to try giving her my eating and workout regimen to see if she''ll kindof take off with that. I''m hoping I can find a councilor to talk to and my other friend and I have decided to be a lot more involved with her, and I''m going to try to get her to come hang out with my group of friends more as we are all very strong, healthy and fun people who don''t party as much but have fun at dinners, lunches, and outtings to the beach and things. Maybe that will help some.
 

Lorelei

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DF, I am sure your friendship means a great deal to her, she is very lucky to have a friend like you!
 
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