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worried about my girlfriend's health

By Anonymous August 16, 2011 - 5:40pm
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I am very worried about the health of my girlfriend, and I write to you in the hope that you may have some advice.

By her own admission, she has always been extremely worried about the way she looks, her weight, and her health in general. She has told me that in the past this constant worry has led her to take extreme measures such as vomiting after, or completely abstaining from meals. We have been together for almost two years now, and although she has always voiced her dislike of her own body she is beginning to take extreme measures which are beginning to worry me more than ever. She does not eat very much, and counts every calorie in and every calorie out. What she does eat, for the most part, is mainly sweets. She has been a keen runner ever since she was a child, but a few months ago increased her daily run to 12K, and in recent weeks has begun to run half marathons several times a week. She will not take a rest day unless i can think of some activity, such as going away for the weekend, which actually physically prevents her from running and forces her to have a rest. She weighs herself every day, and increasingly most of her conversations centre around how she looks fat, or feels fat, or about calories or anything similar. Increasingly we cannot do things that normal couples do, such as eat meals together or enjoy a weekend treat like ice-cream. Her periods are highly erratic, and she can have one every two weeks, or none for a few months. I have tried every which way I can think of to talk to her about it, and listen to her concerns. However, whenever I suggest that her behaviour and that what she is putting her body through is not a healthy attitude, or voice my concerns in any way, she becomes quite aggressive and accuses me of trying to control her. I tell her every day that I love her and think she is gorgeous and slim, but she seems to not take it into account. Our friends and my parents have all remarked on how skinny she is. Although to the best of my knowledge she has not begun vomiting again or calorie cutting in extremis- i.e. no calories at all, I feel that she might reach that level again. She does not believe that anything is wrong and refuses to hear anybodys' opinion on the subject. I am reaching the end of my tether and don't know what to do, and any advice you have would be much appreciated. Thank you.

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As you are well aware, your girlfriend has serious issues, including an eating disorder, that need the help of a trained mental health professional. From what you have shared, she has many issues about her body image, obsession with weight and excessive exercising. But, unless she acknowledges that there is a problem and wants to get help, it will be next to impossible to get her to see a psychiatrist, therapist or counselor. I wish I had the magic answer. You, her family and close friend can continue to gently point out that there is a problem and that she needs help. Hang in there and don't give up. She may see the light!


August 16, 2011 - 6:04pm
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