DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a friend who has admitted that she has an eating disorder, which I suspected for years based on how she looks. A few years ago, she admitted herself to rehab a couple of times to try to change her behavior and get healthier. That’s when she confessed to me that she had this issue.
I saw her the other day after many months of talking only occasionally over the phone. She looks smaller than ever. She has gotten so frail. I am worried about her, but I’m not sure how I can be of help. Do I bring it up and ask her what’s going on? Do I tell her that I can see that she has lost weight? Do I say nothing? I think I would be mad if my friends started asking me about my weight fluctuations. -- Friend in Need, Miami
DEAR FRIEND IN NEED: Since your friend opened the door to this conversation to you before, you have permission to bring it up -- carefully. When you talk to her next, ask her how she is feeling and how she is managing her disorder. Tell her that that last time you saw her you were concerned that she seemed to look smaller. Remind her that you love her and want only the best for her, and you are concerned about her health. The final thing you should say on this matter is to let her know that if she ever needs your help in any way, all she has to do is ask.