DEAR HARRIETTE: One of my best friends is battling an eating disorder. I have thought this for years, but I never knew quite what to say. She recently told me she went away to a rehab place to try to learn how to eat properly. She went and did everything she was told, but she hasn’t gained weight. I am so worried about her. She is kind of tall and probably weighs less than 100 pounds. How can I be a friend to her during this period when she is trying to face her demons? -- Supporting a Friend, Las Vegas
DEAR SUPPORTING A FRIEND: According to the National Eating Disorders organization, it can be tough for a friend or family member to have an impact on a loved one who is suffering an eating disorder. What you can do is be honest and firm about what you are observing about the person and how you feel about it. People who are battling eating disorders have an illness, and they need professional help.
Tell your friend you love her, but she must go to a doctor for the medical and emotional support that can get her healthy again. Encourage that. Take care of yourself as well. Do not get so caught up in your friend’s ups and downs that you forget yourself. Be an example of good health by eating in moderation and exercising regularly. For more ideas, go to bit.ly/HCEatingDisorders.