Anorexic behavior includes extreme weight loss (often emaciation), obsessive dieting, distorted body perception (a thin person thinks she/he is fat when they are not). Clues of bulimia are more subtle: Your friend may eat a great deal of food, then rush to the bathroom. She/he may hide laxatives or speak outright about the "magic method" of having the cake and not gaining weight. Anorexics and bulimics tend to be preoccupied with food and many have specific rituals tied to their eating patterns.
Explain that you're worried; listen sympathetically. Don't expect your friend to admit she/he has a problem right away. The first step is realizing there is a problem; therefore it is important to help your friend realize this.
Point out how anxious or how tired and irritable she/he's been lately, and emphasize that it doesn't have to be that way.
but do not try to analyze or interpret their problem. Being supportive is the most important thing you can do. Show your friend you believe in him/her–it will make a difference in recovery.
if you feel the need. An objective outsider can emphasize the fact that you are not responsible for your friend; you can only try to help that person help him/herself.
Be honest in sharing your feelings: i.e., "It's hard for me to watch you destroy yourself."
in "I Statements". For example, "We haven't gone to lunch together in a while, is something wrong?" instead of "You haven't gone to eat with me in a while, do you have a problem?"
with your friend if she/he asks you to keep certain foods out of common storage areas. This may help prevent a binge on such foods.
from the family when your friend's health and thinking is impaired.
is a form of selective "deafness".
by the excuse: "It's not really bad. I can control it myself."
Focus on your concerns about his/her health and well-being.
when you're around your friend. Your "normal" eating is an example to your friend of a more healthy relationship with food.