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    ilud02's Avatar
    ilud02 Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Jun 13, 2018, 12:17 AM
    How do I help my girlfriend from developing an eating disorder
    Iím 15 and my girlfriend is 14. She has a thyroid problem which causes her to gain a lot of weight and she has always talked about how she feels fat but sheís never done anything really bad. She also has really bad anxiety and depression from a traumatic experience that she had a few years ago. Tonight she told me that found something to deal with her weight and it made her feel a lot better but she didnít tell me what it was. About an hour later she told me that she had starved herself all day and since she told me that (about 5 hours ago, itís currently 1 am) she keeps drinking water and throwing it up to try and get everything out of her stomach. I got really upset at the time and it made things really bad between us but I have since calmed down and Iím trying to be there for her but itís really making me worried about her. A few minutes ago she told me that she was grabbing a notebook to write down her ďprogressĒ and Iím concerned that she is going to make a habit of this and develop bulemia. Iím trying to tell her that there are healthier ways to deal with it and that Iím really worried about her but she keeps insisting that sheís okay and sheís telling me to just go to sleep. The biggest problem is that I donít know what else I can do. I live in Alberta, Canada and she lives in Illinois, United States so I can only talk to her online. Another problem is that she canít go to her parents because they are really unsupportive of her and they would just get mad at her. I just really donít know what to do and I really need help.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,303, Reputation: 7691
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    #2

    Jun 13, 2018, 06:26 AM
    OK, first while I am sure you want to think girlfriend, she is merely a friend you know online.

    And of course she can go to her parents, most teens don't trust or believe their parents care because often what answer they get is not what they want to hear.

    But she can go to her school counselor for advice and possible help.

    While it is great you care, even if you lived, next door, there is nothing you can do.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,087, Reputation: 10852
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    #3

    Jun 13, 2018, 09:33 AM
    I agree, you cannot help her despite wanting too badly, but you can give her a good suggestion to talk to an older adult, if not her parents then a teacher, school counsellor, aunt, or the school nurse, if she has a problem with going to her mom, which is probably more fear than actual concern. Young teens are always scared of parents with the excuse of parents getting mad. That's bogus most times.

    Your friend does need some type of help though, and maybe you should get the proper information about what she is going through and send it to her. NO where will it say throwing up is good for you. If I lived next door, and knew, I would squeal on her for her own good.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,846, Reputation: 5428
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    #4

    Jun 13, 2018, 09:46 AM
    Her weight gain is from her thyroid problem, not from eating too much. Thus, starving herself won't help her weight problem and will just mess up her mental health more than it is already with her PTSD. A therapist who knows CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) would teach her some very helpful techniques to deal with her depression and anxiety.
    ilud02's Avatar
    ilud02 Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Jun 13, 2018, 10:31 PM
    Talaniman: I get what you mean by young people being afraid of telling their parents stuff but I think this is different. Her parents used to abuse her. Like they used to physically hit her and now she's really afraid of her dad. About her depression and anxiety, her parents almost never schedule her therapy appointments even when she reminds them multiple times and if she's having an anxiety attack they will tell her to just stop worrying or play it off as nothing even though they are aware of what she has and it makes her feel even worse. And I've told her that throwing up is really bad and unhealthy. I've also tried getting her to tell someone but she doesn't want to tell anyone. She doesn't want help.

    Wondergirl: That sounds really good and I would like if she could talk to a therapist but she doesn't want to tell anyone or get help and even if she did, her parents wouldn't do anything.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,087, Reputation: 10852
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    #6

    Jun 14, 2018, 07:09 AM
    Suggest she talk honestly to her doctor so she can be treated properly for ALL her issues.

    A word of caution my young friend. Online relationships are seldom what they seem, and you can only know what another tells you. You cannot verify any of what she says. NONE. The only FACT you have is she has rebuffed ALL your suggestions with excuses and you have no clue if they are real or not. That means you cannot help! I mean if she won't/can't even tell the doctor who treats this thyroid condition then what do you think you or anyone else can do?

    ,What you can do is love and support another through a difficult time until more can be revealed later on this situation. You may never get the full truth nor save this person, especially from themselves, so I go back to what I said for emphasis now, do your homework at get understanding of what she is going through and have facts to present, whether she takes them or NOT.

    I hope you are talking about other things besides just her problems, because it makes no sense to always be involved with another's gloom and doom issues that neither of you has control over. She is but 14, you 15. Sorry guy but this is a sad reality to accept when you get involved in the life of another so deeply. Hard to have a healthy relationship, online or in person when one of you is less than healthy, no matter your ages. She may be treated for her thyroids for YEARS before she is mature or knowledgeable enough to deal with it positively.

    Scary for anyone not just a 14 year old. Love and support in positive ways my young friend or YOU will not get through this and need help YOURSELF. Please read this article and search for others like it that can be found under "How to help the suffering". Many insights to be gained and practiced.

    https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-1495...suffering.html

    But sometimes, when someone shares what they're going through, they aren't asking for you to make it better. For whatever reason, just telling someone makes us feel a little less desolate. It's human nature to want to share, to have someone who hears us, who understands, who can sympathize with what we're going through. We want to know that we are not alone. We want someone to acknowledge how badly we are hurting, and allow us to be just as we are without needing or expecting us to feel better. We don't want someone to fix our sadness.
    You can love and support even if you cannot change things.
    ilud02's Avatar
    ilud02 Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Jun 15, 2018, 12:13 AM
    Thank you, that was really helpful advice. I've tried doing some research and I told her about what can happen but she just dismisses that stuff. I've also tried telling her to get help and saying that I hope she needs help and she always just says that she doesn't need help. It's gotten to the point where I've started giving up hope of trying to help. Whenever she talks about fasting or purging it really really hurts me inside but to her I just say "okay" and don't try and get her to stop because whenever I do, we end up arguing and she gets mad and it makes me really stressed and overwhelmed so I figure it's better to just leave it and hope that she decides to get help.

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