My Eating Disorder Is Hurting My Friendship

June 25, 2018

My best friend confessed that she’s been avoiding me because of my eating disorder. She’s scared of triggering her own eating issues that she’s coming to grips with in psychotherapy. I feel horrible about getting so caught up in my problems that I didn’t see what it was doing to her. While I’m glad we spoke about it (and I’ve made an appointment to get professional help, too), the awkwardness hasn’t completely disappeared.

—Katherine, Boston, MA

Give it some time. Issues like these don’t resolve themselves overnight. But please don’t blame yourself. It’s common for therapists to advise their patients with eating disorders to stay away from friends with similar problems to avoid falling back into unhealthy patterns.

You took the initiative to speak about the tension between you and your friend rather than ignoring it. Now you’re seeking treatment for your eating problem, which is an extremely positive sign. The fact that you and your friend can talk about how this has affected your relationship bodes well for the future. Don’t despair!

Send your questions to Dr. Linda Hamilton at [email protected].