I’ve had a really rough summer and things have escalated and I’ve ended up with an eating disorder. How do I tell my friends?

I’ve not seen my friends all summer because I’ve had loads going on. I’ve been a mess and I’ve developed an eating disorder. I’m not anorexic or bulimic but I go several weeks hardly eating and then go on a binge. I’m having counselling so my eatings kind of back under control but I have to take it one step at a time. This means I’m coming off school lunches and I’m bringing packed lunches so everyone knows what I’m eating. However I’m still not eating a lot and I think my friends will be off with me when they hear about this. Anyone any ideas how I can explain this to them? Thank you x

It sounds like you are feeling concerned about telling your friends what has been going on with you. It can be difficult to express this to your friends and there is no need to do this unless you feel that they need to know. Otherwise, go about bringing your packed lunch. If they ask why, you can tell them something like &quot:I m trying to eat healthier&quot: or &quot:I decided I don t really like the school lunches&quot: or even &quot:I m trying to save money&quot:. If your friends notice that you aren t eating much and they ask about it, then you can open up to them if you feel comfortable. You can tell them as much or as little as you want to. The best approach to take with this is to tell them if they ask or if you re comfortable telling them. If you don t want to tell them, that is your choice as well.

In the meantime, if you need someone to talk to about what you ve been going through when you are unable to see your counselor or if you have some difficulty with this situation and need to talk it through, there are crisis hotlines for teens that you can call 24 hours a day. They can provide support and even some referrals if you would like additional help.

TB – Counselor

Do you honestly think your friends are going to be THAT concerned about the food you are eating? Of course not! They will look at you and say &quot:Oh your packing your lunch now?&quot: and you say yeah! and you don’t have to tell them why, you can just say it’s better for me than this school food or something. And they’ll shrug their shoulders, no one cares about what you eat. Unless what you are eating smells like a dead animal and makes everyone gag I’m sure you’ll be A.OK!

You only broke up for the school holidays 5 weeks ago: there hasn’t been enough time for you to have developed an eating disorder, certainly not to &quot:go several weeks hardly eating&quot: to then see a doctor, be referred to a counsellor, commence treatment and now be in recovery. You’re just a little girl that wants to feel special and get attention at school. People will only notice your &quot:disordered eating&quot: if you make a fuss and make sure they pay attention to you at lunchtime. Many people change over from school dinners to packed lunches and back again without fanfare: you are no different. When I was in school, girls with eating disorders actually had school dinners as the dinner ladies could monitor their intake.

Why would you have to explain what you’re eating at lunch. Do you feel you need their approval for what you consume. Honey, you’ve got bigger problems than your eating.

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