View Full Version : What to say to someone with anorexia

02-26-08, 11:37 PM
This is something that's has bothered me for years. My girlfriend, as some of you may have read, suffers from anorexia and it probably takes up %50 of our conversations. The problem is, I just don't know what to say. I feel like I am useless in aiding her with her illness. Maybe some one has experience talking to someone like this? Any ideas on how to cope or deal with a situation. Or if you have an ED, what have people said to you that comforts you? Thanks for reading...

Matt S.
02-26-08, 11:44 PM
Being a guy who has anorexia may be different but attention to it of any kind feeds into it and when people left me alone about it and stopped feeding into it by telling me I wasn't fat, too thin etc. I can say personally with me it just levelled out on it's own. If she brings it up, recommend a therapist, on one level she wants to be rescued (controlled in my case) and on another level it is meant to express hostility of some sort. There is the creation of false control. I was actually fat before I started into the anorexia and it may have been ADHD related in my case because I am impatient so if I need to lose weight even now, I want it gone fast.

02-27-08, 01:08 AM
i agree that our constant talking about it most definitely feeds into it, but its so hard because she is the most important thing in the world to me and its so hard to ignore or not talk about the issue especially when she says she really needs someone to talk to about it, and I'm the only person, besides her therapist (who she says does nothing for her), that she trusts with the situation. I have told her and encouraged her to talk about other things but then she always manages to come back to it. I told her once that for my own mental stability, I can't talk bout the issue and she sees that as me "abandoning" her.

I also know the relationship is extreme unhealthy for me because I have many issues (depression/anxiety/addictions) that I need to be working on in order to improve my own self, but much of my time is put into trying to help her. I just can't bring myself to let go of someone I love deeply and has been my best friend since the beginning of high school. Idk, it's a really difficult situation.

03-15-08, 08:45 PM
Or if you have an ED, what have people said to you that comforts you?
To be honest, there's really nothing comforting that any "outsider" can say. In the mind of an anorectic, anything can be twisted around in your head...and you can only hear what the disorder wants you to hear.

The most comforting thing would be to hear that someone else is going through the same exact thing that you are. To hear your own thoughts coming from another person is the only thing that can make you feel less alone... but since you're not suffering from an ED, that's not something you can give her.

This is a really hard situation, because anorexia is a very private illness... I'm actually surprised that she's even comfortable talking about it with you.

But anyway, maybe that's her cry for help?

Or maybe she doesn't even know if she wants help. (Have you asked her? ...Does she want treatment? ...How old is she?)

At the very least, I think you should help her find a new therapist, since she doesn't seem to have any connection with the one she has now. (Or maybe you should give me her contact info and I can help her. :) haha. I have lots of contacts and friends who can help people with EDs.)

Oh, and you probably already know this, but you should refrain from saying anything related to weight, body size, food, eating, etc. Make sure that you never comment on her appearance. (It's never good. A person with anorexia will always hear it in the wrong way. It will almost always trigger them into more self-destructive behavior.) Only say things related to her character-- anything to help build her sense of self-worth.