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Anorexia/Eating Disorders/How to deal with an anorexia friend? Please Help.


First of all, SORRY THIS IS SO LONG BUT I REALLY NEED HELP. So one of my best friends, Anna, is anorexic (and also has anxiety, but she takes medicine for that) and has been since last summer. She was ALWAYS so funny, nice, and silly until she had anorexia. In the middle of 2012 she went to a place where they treat you for having anorexia and teach you how to eat, and me and 2 other friends would visit her sometimes. When she finally came back to school she was so happy and gained some pounds back. She was also so open to her being anorexic and answered any questions we had. I could notice that she was back, the funny, nice, silly, Anna was finally back and me and 2 other friends were so happy about that. BUT me and her other best friend have noticed that shes going back to her ways of always being sad, sleepy, losing weight, and thinking that shes fat when she only weighs 97 pounds. Shes actually gotten a lot worse than before, now shes really mean and EXTREMELY obsessed with her school work. She freaks out if she doesn't know a question and asks a BILLION questions. Like for example, our best friend said that in class for EVERY question, she would ask "Rachel, whats the answer?" and when she would give it to her she says "are you sure? how do you know? Show me. How did you get the answer?" Its like she wants to be right at everything, I mean, its okay if she gets some questions wrong. Also, she would do that for every work she gets and if we say I don't know she gets really mad. Another thing is she gets really mad at everything we tell her. For example, in social studies, we were suppose to do this worksheet but it wasn't for a grade, plus, the teacher didn't care if we got it wrong cause we would go over it as a class and throw it away later. anyway, she kept asking us what the answers were and when Rachel said I don't know she got really mad. and I told her "Its not for a grade, its okay if you get it wrong" she gave me this death stare and said "Shut up. I wasn't talking to you." in the most rudest way possible. She always gives us those death stares and tells us to shut up like 10 times a day. Its basically like she gets mad over EVERYTHING (and I mean EVERYTHING) we tell her, I almost feel scared to tell her anything cause I know she'll get mad. I've also noticed that, almost everyday, weather shes in class or eating at lunch, she always looks at her thighs and stomach and try to feel her face to see it shes fat. I even saw her doing that at her house when she was eating. She does that ALL the time, like 10 times a day. (no joke) With that said, PLEASE help me, any thoughts or advice is highly appreciated. Thanks

Hi Beth,

I am so sorry you are going through this with your friend. I wish I had an easy answer for you, but I don't. Everything you described are symptoms of her anorexia - even the rudeness. Think about how you get when you go without food for too long. I don't know about you, but I get really crabby. Now think about that magnified 1000 times. This is on top of the fact that the need to be in control of everything is a hallmark of anorexia. People suffering from anorexia nervosa tend to be perfectionists.

Have you tried talking to her parents? It really sounds like she needs to go back into treatment. Only her parents have the power to order that.

In the meantime, I encourage you to check out these websites for tips for dealing with friends suffering from anorexia.

I hope you find these resources helpful and that your friend gets back into treatment ASAP. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions or do anything else to help.

Anorexia/Eating Disorders

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Mary Pritchard


I can answer questions about the psychology of eating, disordered eating attitudes and behaviors such as drive for thinness, drive for muscularity, binge eating, body dysmorphia, dieting, excessive/obsessive exercise, and body dissatisfaction. I can also answer questions about anorexia and bulimia.


I have a PhD in Psychology and teach courses in the Psychology of Health and the Psychology of Eating. I have been conducting research on disordered eating and exercise behaviors for 15 years.

Midwestern psychological association, rocky mountain psychological association

Over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles in journals such as Eating Behaviors, Eating Disorders, and Eating and Weight Disorders

PhD in Psychology from the University of Denver

Awards and Honors
30 teaching awards, have received funding to conduct my research from academic institutions and state and local government

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