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I’m afraid my girlfriend is developing an eating disorder

Hi, I’m afraid that my girlfriend is developing an eating disorder, she has always been thin but recently she is talking about feeling gross because she thinks she ate too much. Today she ate eggs with toast for breakfast, and then ate a half a grilled cheese and some soup for lunch. She then did not eat for the rest of the day because she felt like she had overeaten. She also goes to the gym and works out most every day. She says she feels like she’ll look better if she eats less, but I’ve tried to tell her that if she’s going to work out a lot then good nutrition is very important, but she feels the best when she’s hungry after the gym. I’ve tried to talk to her about it but I can’t seem to get through. I’m worried she is living an unhealthy lifestyle and developing a problem and I’m not sure how to deal with it. Please help!

Thanks!

I’m afraid my girlfriend is developing an eating disorder

A.

You are right to be concerned. While giving a diagnosis would be inappropriate over the Internet, the signs and symptoms of anorexia and what has been referred to as anorexia athletica are similar to what you describe. I would enlist the help of either a registered dietitian or a physical trainer at the gym. Either of these two professionals is well equipped to offer information. Your depth of caring about your girlfriend is admirable, and you can offer her a deal: You will back off if she gets a consult from a legitimate professional who will say her eating habits are not putting her in danger.

As you are in college, your counseling center is likely to have a great deal of experience with young women such as your girlfriend; you can bring your concerns to them. Even if she doesn’t respond to your concerns, you can find support for yourself through them.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan

I’m afraid my girlfriend is developing an eating disorder

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2010). I’m afraid my girlfriend is developing an eating disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 17, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/06/10/im-afraid-my-girlfriend-is-developing-an-eating-disorder/

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Jun 2010
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Jun 2010
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.