DEAR CAROL: An Anorexic Friend

One of my best friends is anorexic. She was beautiful but, now, she’s pale, and you can see her bones through her skin. She knows she has an eating disorder, but says she can’t stop.

I’m really worried about her.

-Don’t Want to Lose My Friend

Dear Don’t Want to Lose,

Wow. Since she’s bravely come clean to you, tell her you’re worried. A lot of girls have anorexia, and in worst-case scenarios, girls can starve themselves to death. You’re right to be concerned. Don’t gossip, but make sure her parents are helping her. If she hasn’t told them, offer to be with her when she does. Or, tell a teacher, school nurse, coach or counselor about her dangerous disorder.

Your friend might need therapy or even hospitalization. Meanwhile, your understanding can make a difference. Don’t monitor her every bite as this will become upsetting for both of you. She needs to figure out how to develop healthful habits. This is her task—not yours—but she’s very lucky to have a caring friend. A helpful website is

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7/18/2009 7:00:00 AM