I found out tonight amidst a lot of tears that my friend will force up her meals on a regular basis. She said it was about wanting to be skinny. I haven't spoken to her for quite a long time but I now feel like I need to do something. Trouble is, what do I need to do? We haven't spoken since tonight for a good few months. How do I approach and start helping her?
Everyone is different, so it is hard to say not knowing the situation or who either of you are..ya know?
-BUT, first things first, you don't want to find out news like that and then just cut off connection with the person, that could make her more vulnerable, and she most likely needs someone now even more. So, I would approach the situation by just fixing whatever happened to your friendship and then just be a good friend to her, get close again and so on.
I would not bring up the eating problem until you know your relationship is once again strong and sturdy. The best thing you can do for her is let her talk about it with you...it helps to get the issue out on the table, because so many individuals suffering from eating disorders feel like they have no one to turn too. Trying to handle the problem on her own is not going to make anything better. So, not only talk about it, don't force it out of her though, maybe try asking sincere questions, showing that you are interested and that you care. Make sure not to judge her for it, or make remarks about how you just don't understand or what not, so many people do this unintentionally and it can really push the wrong button. Of course try and encourage the fact that she is beautiful and skinny and perfect just as is. Everyone likes to get complimented, she is not going to believe you, but don't let that stop you. =P Most important, you should bring up the idea of her talking to someone about it, someone who can understand and help her in a different way, ya know? She may not be up for a counselor, but suggest someone she is close with who she can trust, maybe her mom or her aunt or a coach.
The chances are that if she opened up to you about her disorder, then she is looking for help. She may not want help, but she is ready to talk and get it off her chest, which is a big step.
--(also, if you do start hanging out, try and get her to eat things that don't scare her.. you may have to ask what that is, but for some it is a sugary candy, like skittles or sour patch kids, or maybe even popcorn ...small things that don't seem like much, even smoothies!) This will get her eating without necessarily feeling to guilty about it, so at least she will be keeping something down.))
HOPE i helped! If you have any other questions or if something goes wrong let me know! =) GOOD LUCK!!!
P.s. just thought of something else =P Try nonchalantly, talking about how girls who are to skinny are not attractive, and how guys always talk about how girls with curves and something to grab on to is so much better...yada yada you get where I am going with this right? I had a few friends say that to me and it really got me thinking.. TTYL