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View Full Version : Helping my friend with an eating disorder...



Altephor
10-28-2006, 12:48 AM
A good friend of mine has both anorexia and bulemia. She really worries me because not only does she not eat she still goes to the gym all the time and I'm afraid she's just gonna pass out one day. She's tried therapy and all that and it didn't help her at all. Any suggestions? I've been trying to convince her that if she doesn't eat and goes to the gym her body is just going store what it's got, it's not going to help her. I know she gets this (she's pretty damn smart) but she doesn't listen. She can't keep any food down, even small amounts of food make her throw up. Not to mention she makes herself throw up also.

Basically just looking for any advice I can give her to get her to see this.

Turnip
10-28-2006, 01:24 AM
counseling. And then some more counseling probably. I really have no idea but I think you should deal with the bulemia and stuff before worrying about weight lifting. Maybe you can convince her that if she wants to look like built or getfit that she has to eat.

Built
10-28-2006, 02:37 AM
Honestly, I'd get her lifting right now. Maybe once she realizes it actually WORKS, she'll work with the process a bit.

maruni92
10-28-2006, 06:32 AM
i made myself sick to lose 7 pounsd lol

branman
10-28-2006, 10:22 AM
although i don't have an answer i can sympothise with you
my ex had the same ed and no matter what i tried it didnt' work

sCaRz*Of*PaiN
10-28-2006, 11:14 AM
Honestly, I'd get her lifting right now. Maybe once she realizes it actually WORKS, she'll work with the process a bit.This goes a lot deeper than you think. This will probably not help, at all. Though I have met some recovered anorexics that realized that you can weigh more and look slimmer if that space is being taken up by...muscle. ;) However, he said his friend is in the gym...a lot...and this is usually the case. They'll be lifting all day if they could. And a lot of the time, these girls do die from overexertion on a severe caloric deficit. If they DO recover, the damage is usually irreversible and permanent. I knew this one girl. She had about 300 calories a day and did 4 hours of Tai Bo every night. Yeah...



This is something that may take years to get over. She needs to seek counseling with someone who deals with this very issue (and who is non-judgemental). She needs to be shown love and support. If she gets yelled at to eat because she's too skinny, that will...make things worse. Just keep showing her that you care in a loving way and don't insult her or ridicule her. She's already dealing with enough mental stress and confusion.

Love = the best thing you can use with this type of thing.

maruni92
10-28-2006, 12:19 PM
i just deicded to stop making myself sick

Alex.V
10-28-2006, 12:20 PM
PM me. I've been there myself. Unless you have, it's almost impossible to understand, let alone treat.

Altephor
10-28-2006, 12:31 PM
Yeah she's been through counseling and it didn't work and now she doesn't want to go back. It just really pisses me off because she's very smart but can't see what she's doing to herself. She's like 100 lbs and still says she's fat, it's rediculous.

NewTriathlete
10-28-2006, 01:31 PM
What you need to realize is that its not about the weight or how they look at all, its about a self-loathing, and really thinking that they are either not worth feeding, they should punish themselves with food, or that it is the only thing they can control, when it reality they have no control over it. Bulimia is usually so hard to notice because since it is such an ineffective way to lose weight, people usually wind up looking a little chunky from it. I know how it feels, it is very very frustrating to see someone so smart resort to methods that are so ineffective while there is so much good info out there.

Really the best way I've seen to treat it is a multi-pronged approach with therapy and an eating disorder clinic. I know it may sound odd, but people with eating disorders, regardless of how smart they are, don't have a concept of how to eat. Cognitively, they know how to eat, but in terms of listening to their body they are completely in the dark, and since they are afraid of gaining weight, they can just stay away from food all together. The eating disorder clinic will help with this. This is something that lifting may help with, because you probably know what the hunger is like after a lift, and how your body needs fuel, and this feeling is very new to ED patients. The therapy will help establish a sense of self worth again and will help her find that there is more value in herself than a number on a scale.

Regardless, no one on a forum is going to be able to help her, and you need to realize that you can't either. This is something that is serious, 10% of all ED patients perish as a result. She needs to get help from professionals, both mental health professionals and from doctors/nutritionists to see how much damage has already been done and what can be done to reverse the physical damage. And what sucks about being someone standing by is that they won't get help unless they really want to, and there is very little you can do about it. You can push and try, but unless she really wants to get better, its going to be very hard. Its really something that you have to keep at, don't let her make excuses for not getting help. Its tough, but you have to be very supportive and help them establish self worth, but at the same time take a tough love approach about her having to get help.

Built
10-28-2006, 01:35 PM
This goes a lot deeper than you think. This will probably not help, at all. Though I have met some recovered anorexics that realized that you can weigh more and look slimmer if that space is being taken up by...muscle. ;) However, he said his friend is in the gym...a lot...and this is usually the case. They'll be lifting all day if they could. And a lot of the time, these girls do die from overexertion on a severe caloric deficit. If they DO recover, the damage is usually irreversible and permanent. I knew this one girl. She had about 300 calories a day and did 4 hours of Tai Bo every night. Yeah...



This is something that may take years to get over. She needs to seek counseling with someone who deals with this very issue (and who is non-judgemental). She needs to be shown love and support. If she gets yelled at to eat because she's too skinny, that will...make things worse. Just keep showing her that you care in a loving way and don't insult her or ridicule her. She's already dealing with enough mental stress and confusion.

Love = the best thing you can use with this type of thing.

I have three friends who have had eating disorders.

One became a dietician, does too much cardio, and still binges and purges.

The other two, one female, and one male, started bodybuilding and got out of it.

Hardly scientific, I know.

But it was what I was basing my suggestion on. The two who got into BB both mentioned the same thing: it's about control. EDs are about control, at least from the people I've met and from the reading I've done on it. BB is about control too, but in a more proactive and effective way. Maybe that's why my two friends were able to transfer the anorexia-control to BB-control?

My .02

maruni92
10-28-2006, 01:52 PM
Not really, you just don't like your weight and purge because of it.


What you need to realize is that its not about the weight or how they look at all, its about a self-loathing, and really thinking that they are either not worth feeding, they should punish themselves with food, or that it is the only thing they can control, when it reality they have no control over it. Bulimia is usually so hard to notice because since it is such an ineffective way to lose weight, people usually wind up looking a little chunky from it. I know how it feels, it is very very frustrating to see someone so smart resort to methods that are so ineffective while there is so much good info out there.

Really the best way I've seen to treat it is a multi-pronged approach with therapy and an eating disorder clinic. I know it may sound odd, but people with eating disorders, regardless of how smart they are, don't have a concept of how to eat. Cognitively, they know how to eat, but in terms of listening to their body they are completely in the dark, and since they are afraid of gaining weight, they can just stay away from food all together. The eating disorder clinic will help with this. This is something that lifting may help with, because you probably know what the hunger is like after a lift, and how your body needs fuel, and this feeling is very new to ED patients. The therapy will help establish a sense of self worth again and will help her find that there is more value in herself than a number on a scale.

Regardless, no one on a forum is going to be able to help her, and you need to realize that you can't either. This is something that is serious, 10% of all ED patients perish as a result. She needs to get help from professionals, both mental health professionals and from doctors/nutritionists to see how much damage has already been done and what can be done to reverse the physical damage. And what sucks about being someone standing by is that they won't get help unless they really want to, and there is very little you can do about it. You can push and try, but unless she really wants to get better, its going to be very hard. Its really something that you have to keep at, don't let her make excuses for not getting help. Its tough, but you have to be very supportive and help them establish self worth, but at the same time take a tough love approach about her having to get help.

sCaRz*Of*PaiN
10-28-2006, 02:05 PM
But it was what I was basing my suggestion on. The two who got into BB both mentioned the same thing: it's about control. EDs are about control, at least from the people I've met and from the reading I've done on it. BB is about control too, but in a more proactive and effective way. Maybe that's why my two friends were able to transfer the anorexia-control to BB-control?That isn't always the case. My ex was going through this for years. The issues went very deep. I know where you're coming from, but it can't be generalized. There are similar and different reasons for it. I'm sure it does play a role in most, however. But unless you've been there, like Belial said, it's hard...if not impossible...to understand. I choose my words carefully when speaking to my friends who have an eating disorder. One wrong word can worsen the situation.

NewTriathlete
10-28-2006, 02:05 PM
maruni92,
This really isn't a topic you should be trolling in. It is a very serious problem, and you aren't helping the situation any

sCaRz*Of*PaiN
10-28-2006, 02:07 PM
Not really, you just don't like your weight and purge because of it.You haven't even begun to scratch the surface or even remotely understand the issue...so please stop.

Built
10-28-2006, 02:08 PM
sCaRz - I understand what you're saying, and never having gone though this myself, I only had my readings and observations to go on.

ED are strongly associated with enmeshed, controlling familes. Control may not be the only feature, but it is certainly a recurring theme in these disorders.

Turnip
10-29-2006, 04:25 AM
I think this should be left to the professionals, as in counselors and stuff. I mean this is a pretty common thing, those people must be pretty good at it by now.

Anyways it cant be that complicated, is there really not a single bit of insight into why they starve themselves? Do they think the skin to bone look is attractive or something?

maruni92
10-29-2006, 05:40 PM
i have been, there, have u?


You haven't even begun to scratch the surface or even remotely understand the issue...so please stop.

Alex.V
10-29-2006, 08:33 PM
I have. And there's no one blanket answer, there's no one reason that everybody develops an eating disorder. For me it WAS control, but it wasn't self-loathing any more than it was loathing for everyone else, everyone else who lacked the control I had. I hated being as weak as them, all fat, out of shape, and average, and promised myself I never would never go back. I knew what I wanted to be, I knew where I wanted to be, and that's what it was all about. Not the media, not self-punishment (jesus christ that one was far off, at least as far as I was concerned)...

And making yourself sick to lose 7 pounds doesn't really qualify as a serious eating disorder.

Best thing is for everybody who's talking out of their ass to stop. There's not much you can do, man. I know you want to help, but honestly most of the conventional wisdom on eating disorders is wrong, and most of the things people say that they think will help only make the issues worse.

Either get professional help for her, or just be there for her.

teaturtle
10-29-2006, 08:42 PM
I have three friends who have had eating disorders.

One became a dietician, does too much cardio, and still binges and purges.

The other two, one female, and one male, started bodybuilding and got out of it.

Hardly scientific, I know.

But it was what I was basing my suggestion on. The two who got into BB both mentioned the same thing: it's about control. EDs are about control, at least from the people I've met and from the reading I've done on it. BB is about control too, but in a more proactive and effective way. Maybe that's why my two friends were able to transfer the anorexia-control to BB-control?

My .02

Same thing happened to me. As I got more into BB'ing, my ED sorta faded away.. I think the last time I relapsed was July 2005. I hope it doesn't come back. I've never been taken to a clinic, counselor or doctor. My mom knew but didn't do much except force me to eat. I'm glad it's 'over'.

Lifting is the highest thing I have keeping me going. Im thankful for that.