If she has a true eating disorder, there’s nothing you can say that will convince her otherwise. It’s not a matter of convincing IMO.
For my friend with anorexia, all the talk therapy was useless or worse; it was not until they got her on an SSRI that she would or could eat again. Therefore, I would recommend she see a competent and experienced psychiatrist.
I also believe that there should be NO emphasis on appearance when talking to a person who suffers from this. For example, it would be a big mistake to talk about a healthier or better way to lose weight.
She would not care about better or healthier; in her view, the fastest way would be the best. It would be a big mistake to show pictures of ANYONE to compare herself to. If she thought figure competitors looked good, I doubt she’d be wanting to lose 30 lbs. If she sees a picture of someone even skinnier than she, she’ll want to lose even more. So you can’t win with the body image thing.
If this were my friend, I would show her the effects of very low calorie diets and fat loss (such as the Minnesota starvation experiment I have discussed in another thread).
However, I would not expect it to convince her, based on previous experience. My friend, for example, was very bright and had already researched and discovered all the bad physiological effects of anorexia before we even realized it was a problem.
If she’s eating 1200 calories a day, that’s not bad. If she were my friend, I would push pretty hard for her to see a psychiatrist NOW. If she can be treated or redirected when she’s still eating, that would be great.
If she drops to 80 lbs and is eating an average of 200 calories a day, and running for hours, it becomes impossible to eat. At that point, she would have to be hospitalized and receive calories intravenously to save her life.[/quote]