I know that a lot of times people with EDs are afraid to tell their friends about their eating disorder or ask them for help. With good reason, as I‘ll get to later.
I also know that oftentimes people won’t guess that someone has an eating disorder even if presented with pretty obvious evidence. For instance, if someone hears you throwing up in the toilet and you come out and tell them you’re sick, they might just believe you. No one would let that happen, so people have to guess by watching us eat and looking for physical signs, as we won’t let our mental stresses show.
No one guesses, so it’s up to us to tell them.
Why shouldn’t we?
1. they might think we’re disgusting
2. they might not care
3. they might stop hanging out with us as much
4. They might become overbearing out of love (although I think this is less likely to happen with friends than with parents)
5. They might tell someone else
All legitimate reasons. So why should we tell them?
1. they might help us
2. they will probably still love us for who we are if they’re truly our friends
3. they could help us defeat triggers
4. we can tell them what’s going on with us when we’re in a bad mood because of our EDs
Again, all legitimate reasons. I would say to sort of feel people out before you tell them, to see how they would react. Like you can ask them what they would do if they discovered you had an addiction. And if they don’t fail and if you trust them enough, the benefits of telling outweigh the costs.
I go through all this in my head, and I play out all possible good and bad scenarios on paper, but I still can’t tell people. Only my parents, boyfriend, and therapists know. It’s not hard telling therapists at all, and my parents have probably forgotten I even had a problem by now. My boyfriend and I don’t talk about it too often but he’s always there when I need him. I’m debating telling one of my other close friends, because I trust him and I think he could be very supportive. But what if it ruins his opinion of me? I’m too afraid of the slim chance that he would stop being my friend to get help from him.
What do you guys think?
Have you told people? Are you planning to? What are your reasons for and against?