Anorexia/Eating Disorders/How to deal with an anorexia friend? (REALLY NEED 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.
Rebecca- the process of getting better from an eating disorder is one that is on-going. Some people battle it all their lives and some die while trying to get better. Many times, there are things going on in the person's life that need treated also, liek depression, anxiety or something that comes from having been abused or neglected. That's why it takes a whole team of peole t help treat them: a physician for their medical situation, a therapist for the depression or anxiety, a dietician for the eating end of things and even a family therapist to treat the family dynamics that may be influencing the disease. Often times, relationships with friends and family change when someone is in treatment or after they've been treated for issues like addiction or eating disorders. This is because the who dynamic of the relationships have changes. That means what we've come to expect or how we know someone is different because they are a bit different and how we relate to them may be different. Often times, the person has used this disorder to cope with other feelings or their past experiences. When you are asking them to give up their condition, you are asking them to give up something that they have used to get by for a long time (same thing with when you asl someone to give up an addiction). Even if their way of coping is very distructive. She may be feeling like people are expecting something from her that she isn't able to give or provide... such as getting better. it may be coming across as irritability or outbursts. It may also be something like anger issues or anxiety or depression coming out. She needs to continue getting help with a variety of professionals to handle all of these issues. You can best help her by just supporting her decision to get this help.