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Having an Anorexic Friend

Writer, Age 14

This past year everyone who is friends with Jane* has been noticing that she is getting thinner, talking about being fat, and never eating her lunch. We decided to talk to her about it.

So one day at lunch we all confronted her and asked her what was up. She told us she felt sick if she ate during school and that she eats a lot when she is home. So one of our friends decided to ask her mother about her diet at home. Her mother said that she ate very little but always said she was full from eating lunch at school. We decided not to tell her mother at that time that her daughter had been lying, but instead went back to Jane and told her we knew she was not eating and that if she started eating again and gaining weight we would not tell her mom. She denied the fact that she was not eating and changed nothing.

Desperate to let her mom know, but not make her hate us forever, a few of the girls from our group of friends went to the school nurse and told her. She then called Janeís mom and told her about our concern. When Jane found out what had taken place she immediately got mad at the girls who told on her. But over time she realized they did what they did only because they loved her and were worried. Her parents brought her to many doctors and they all said the same thing: Jane was sick and needed to eat.

Her mother had to become the food police and make her eat. Huge fights broke out every day during eating time. Her grades in school went way down and she started to creep into a depression. When school ended she was told she might need to go to a hospital, but when her parents saw it would be in the psychiatric ward they said no. They just couldnít bear to do that to her. They would try to help her themselves. She got sicker and sicker, weaker and weaker. Her blood pressure skyrockets when she stands up and she is susceptible to heart attacks.

Some days she canít even bring herself to drink a glass of water. She thinks she is fat and that she has no friends. She HAD a lot of friends before, but some are distancing themselves from her because they are scared. Others were never friends to begin with and she thought they were. She doesnít realize that people donít have 20 true friends. That true friends are only a few of your closest friends. The ones who stand by you.

When her friends try and get her out of the house she acts normal. Until it comes time to eat. She pretends she is eating, but only plays with the food, moving it around on her plate, hiding food under other food to make it look like she ate some. She hardly even drinks her drink. Her friends talk to her about it. She is open to discussion but continues to be the way she is.

I am one of those friends. I distanced myself before because I felt as though it was my fault. Now I feel like it is my fault she isnít getting better. So I try to get her out of the house as much as I can. She is so depressed now. She doesn't want to go back to school in September and she doesnít think she has any friends. I am doing my best. I just hope it is enough.

*Name has been changed.

Last Modified Date: 1/10/2001
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