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My friend

I've recently discovered a friend of mine has been binging and purging regularly. Although she tells me she's controlling it and is fine, i'm worrying about her. She doesnt want her parents to find out so wont go to the school or a proffessional for help, she tried talking to b-eat, the eating disorder prevention organisation, but they did not help at all. We've just started study leave and its getting worse and worse. I also have my own problems, and although i really want to help her i dont know how, and its making me extremely stressed.

Do you know how i can support her or if there are any other organisations which can help?

Thank you,

P

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi P,

Thanks for your letter. I can hear from what you've said just how worried you are about your friend.

You say that your friend is binging and purging and although she has told you that she is controlling it, you are worried. You also said that your friend has tried talking to B-eat so it feels like she might be exploring some ways to get help, which is good to hear. 

It sounds like a stressful time for you, supporting your friend and also dealing with exams and your own problems.  It can be hard supporting a friend who doesn’t seem to want to get help from the obvious sources like family, school, or professionals. You say that you want to help her but don’t know how. I want to let you know that you are supporting her just by being there and listening. You could also suggest that she talks to her GP, or school nurse, or ChildLine. She can talk to a counsellor in confidence and they won’t tell anyone unless they think her life is in immediate danger. A counsellor would listen and support her and talk through ideas and options for support. There is also some information about eating problems in Explore which might be helpful for both of you.

It's important to remember that if you ever think a friend's life is at risk, then you need to tell an adult that you trust, even if that friend doesn't want you to. You can find out more about supporting a friend in Explore and at Epic Friends.

Don't forget that ChildLine is here for you too. You can talk to a counsellor by calling 0800 1111 (which is free), by 1-2-1 chat or by sending an email. You've been a very good friend, well done for getting in touch and asking for help. Remember to look out for yourself too.

Take care,

Sam

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