Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Protesting in the Time of Coronavirus

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am in my 20s, and one of my roommates is exhibiting signs of an eating disorder. She is fixated on her weight and barely eats. How do I bring up my concern for her health and well-being without crossing any lines? I want to make sure she feels supported. At the same time, I think it would be irresponsible of me to say nothing. I am concerned for her life. -- Eating Disorder

DEAR EATING DISORDER: Thank you for caring about your friend so deeply. She is lucky to have you. It is understandable that this is a difficult topic for you to broach. And yes, you should say something.

Health professionals recommend that you do your homework in advance. Learn as much as you can about eating disorders so that you come to your friend with some knowledge, but do not try to act like an expert. Ask your roommate if you can schedule a time for the two of you to meet. Tell her your concerns -- preferably things you have practiced so that you can say them without fear. Express your observations about her eating habits, and suggest that she get some support.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

Read more in: Health & Safety | Friends & Neighbors