Ask Sam letter


To Sam



One of my best friends has apparently (i seen her since and not sure if it is true) recently been diagnosed with anorexia. I don't know what to do because she is one of my best friends and i want to be able to help if it is true but at the same time i don't think she is she was round my house last week for tea and she ate everything on her plate and i only ate half also she is always calling herself a ''skinny minnie'' So im confused?? What do i do?? Also she doesn't know i know yet she told me her mum thought she was but she told the other 2 of my best mates but not me but i guessed so know i know. Please could you help me i don't know what to do or anything

Ask Sam



Thank you for writing to me and sharing a bit about what’s happening at the moment.
I imagine it might have been worrying to hear that your friend could have anorexia.

I can hear how confused you are that she doesn’t seem to be acting like she’s worried about her weight. I’m not medically trained, but I do know from talking to other young people that people with eating disorders are often very good at hiding how they feel. This can make it really hard to know if someone has an eating disorder. You sound like a really good friend to have and I can hear that you would like to help her if she does have an eating disorder.

You said that your friend doesn’t know that you know about the anorexia. Maybe you could think about whether it would be a good idea to try and talk to your friend about it. I can hear that you know your friend really well, so I am guessing you might have an idea of how she might react if you ask her about straight out about the anorexia. If she finds it really hard to talk about, she might not know what to say if you ask her about it directly. Sometimes it can be better to say something more general, like letting your friend know that you are worried about her and that you’re there for her if she ever wants to talk about something. If talking face to face seems difficult you could always think about the idea of giving your friend a letter or email, as writing can be another good way to communicate.

You might find it helps you feel more confident about supporting your friend if you understand more about anorexia. There is a page on eating problems in the Explore section. B-eat is another good website some information specifically for young people. Finally has got some great information for anyone who is worried about their friends’ mental health.

Maybe you might like to talk to a Childline counsellor about what’s happening. They would also be happy to listen to your friend if she ever wanted to talk to them herself. You can call the free helpline on 0800 1111(which does not appear on the phone bill) or you could log on for a 1-2-1 chat which is like instant messenger.

Well done for writing to me, take care.


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