Roughly 1 percent of the population—disproportionately girls—suffers from anorexia nervosa, defined by the DSM IV as “the refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age or height.” The mortality rate for anorexia is between 20 and 25 percent; it is the highest rate of any psychiatric disorder.The exact figures in the Jewish community are unclear.If you want to be good to the person you love, seek help from a professional and reach out to people in your support network with whom you share a more stable relationship. It can be fun, terrible, exciting, hard — the adjectives used to describe it are endless.All the advice I’ve heard is that you should tell someone if you feel suicidal, and I know how close I came to making a big mistake.What should someone who wants to be good to the person they love do if they truly believe life would not be worth living without them?
I don’t know if that is butting in too much based on the evidence. — Concerned Co-Worker You said it best that you don’t know her well enough to bring up your suspicion that she’s anorexic. However, what do you do if you genuinely believe this and don’t have another person you trust enough to tell?
There could be a host of reasons — some of them health-related — for why you’ve never seen your co-worker eat anything, and you simply don’t know enough to assume she’s anorexic. While everything is done with now and I feel more stable, I knew I felt that way about my then-fiancée, and she was the only person in the world I trusted enough to talk about the inside of my head with. I spent a week with vodka and narcotics on my desk next to each other, trying to think of reasons I shouldn’t go to sleep forever — this woman was my whole world, and had essentially lied about loving me, wanting to be married, and pretty much everything else that I kept close to my heart.
Even if you did, without being a closer confidante, it really isn’t your place to try to help, especially when it doesn’t seem you would even know what sort of help to try to provide. I am the happiest I’ve ever been, but there’s one issue that’s plaguing me: he has yet to introduce me to his family, and when we go out and he runs into people, he ‘doesn’t remember’ to introduce me. I ended up telling her I was suicidal after she ended things, but to this day I’m curious what I could have done to handle things better.
Many clinicians have described factors that may make Jewish girls receptive to eating disorders or disordered eating: perfectionism, stress, and an overly strong focus on the body.
There is no conclusive evidence that the percentage of eating disorders inside the Orthodox community is higher than the percentage in the general population, or the Jewish community as a whole.