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How can I support a friend with EDNOS? :( She's overseas and told me she binges, then starves herself. I foolishly asked can't you make the food healthier? Thinking it would lessen her guilt. She is so upset. I want to support her. What should I not say?


Hi: Individuals suffering


Individuals suffering from eating disorders are often struggling with guilt, depression, poor self-esteem, and little confidence in themselves. Under normal circumstances, your comment should have been perceived as a helpful suggestion. Unfortunately, your friend thought you were being critical, and became upset - not what either of you had intended.

Having a friend's support is especially important for anyone with an eating disorder - so please don't give up after this one setback. Even from a distance, your friend needs to know that you care for her, and that you are there for her.

The best kind of support you can give is non-judgemental. This doesn't mean that you have to agree with your friend's binging and starving behavior - but focus instead on her wellbeing and emotional state.

For example, you may want to express concern for her health, and offer to listen to what is going on for her right now. This is much less likely to be interpreted as blaming or judgemental. It may take your friend a little while to build trust again so don't be too concerned if she seems reluctant to talk at first.

Eating disorders are extremely complex and require professional treatment in order for the person to get better. Providing caring support is the best way to encourage your friend to seek help.

Hope this helps a little.


Thank you Amy :) That was a

Thank you Amy :) That was a great response. I'm not giving up. No way. She's the best woman I've ever met. I'm quite fond of her. :) Can you recommend any reading that might help me understand eating disorders. Thanks again. :)