Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Sibling Sees Signs of Abuser in Teen Who Beats Up on Her

DEAR ABBY: There is a woman in our group who complains constantly about her weight and keeps asking for our reassurance that she's not overweight. She's actually an appropriate size for her height and maybe even a little too thin, but she thinks she is fat.

The rest of us are somewhat overweight and struggle trying to lose, so you can imagine how we feel when she goes on about this. She doesn't hang around with women her size, and she's competitive and insecure in many ways. We all care for her a lot because, other than this, she's a caring and supportive friend. She reads your column, so I'm hoping she'll read this and realize how much it bothers us. -- CHUBBY FRIEND IN THE SOUTH

DEAR CHUBBY: Dream on! Very few people see a letter in my column and realize it is aimed at them. Because your friend's constant need for reassurance makes the rest of you uncomfortable, the person closest to her needs to tell her the subject of weight is now off-limits and why.

The woman may suffer from body dysmorphia, a condition in which the sufferer doesn't perceive her body as it actually is. People with body dysmorphia will see a fat person reflected in the mirror even if they are anorexic. It should also be suggested that the person with whom to discuss her concerns about being too heavy is her doctor.