Sadly, you can't stop your friend from purging (sorry about that- I know that's not what you wanted to hear!). Your friend is going to need to get help and learn to stop her own purging. BUT, just because you can't stop her from purging doesn't mean you can't be a great support person for her and be really helpful in her recovery. One of the best things you can do is ask her how you can help, and tell her you are there for her- to listen, to support her. She may not be able to tell you at first what would be helpful (and that's probably because she really doesn't know at the moment, not because she doesn't want your help), but keep letting her know that you are there, that the friendship matters to you, and that you aren't going anywhere. I'm not sure how old you and your friend are. If your friend is under 18 you may at some point feel worried enough that you feel you need to tell her parents about the purging. And even if she's over 18, there may be a time when you see symptoms/behaviors that indicate she's in medical danger or developing medical problems- and at that point you may have to make a decision about telling someone in her family (her spouse, for instance). Hopefully, she'll never become that ill, and you can stick with being there for her, reminding her that you really do want to know how she's doing and how she's feeling, and supporting her in getting professional help. Your job as her friend is to support her- not to fix her. Take care to pace yourself and make sure you have enough support in your own life. Being in relationship with someone who has an eating disorder can be stressful, tiring and even scary (since you know that purging is not good for her health but you can't make it go away). Having other people in your own life that you can talk to and share your worries with can go a long way towards keeping you healthy, happy and able to hang in there while your friend deals with her eating disorder.
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