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Friendship Dilemmas in Eating Disorders


Navigating friendships when you have an eating disorder can be a challenging process.

On one hand, it's important to have a network of people to rely on and turn to for support, but it's also critical to make sure these people truly have your best interests in mind. For many people, friendships may need to be re-evaluated or left behind if they aren't conducive to recovery.

Coming Clean

Fessing up about your eating disorder to friends can also pose a dilemma. Choosing to share this information is a completely personal decision, so don't feel that you need to divulge your deepest secrets to your entire circle. Tell the people you trust, but don't feel obligated to disclose this information to anyone else.

Returning to Old Habits

If you associate your friends with unhealthy habits related to your eating disorder, it may not be safe to be around them – at least without a support person or a plan. In some cases, you may need to cut ties with people who are still engaging in behaviors that won't support your recovery.

Changing Your Lifestyle

Along with potentially leaving behind some friends, you'll probably also need to make new ones who can relate to your new lifestyle. Recovery can be a difficult process, but it's immensely easier with people who can support and encourage you – especially if they understand your situation. You can easily find these people in eating disorder support groups or at 12-step meetings.

Asking for Help

During recovery – or even if you're not in recovery yet – there will probably be times when you need to ask your friends for help. Keep in mind that the people close to you may not know exactly how to do this, so be clear about what your needs are. Your loved ones will be there if you can clearly explain what you need.

Source: Kids Health

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