What to Do if Your Friend Has an Eating Disorder In observance of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2012, the internet was abuzz with information about eating disorders awareness and practical tips for friends and families with concerns about their loved ones' health. One of those stories ran on Shape.com and featured insights from Eating Recovery Center's Bonnie Brennan, MA, LPC, NCC, Clinical Director of the Adult Partial Hospitalization Program. Read on for a short excerpt of the article, or click here to read the article in its entirety on Shape.com. The signs are all there. Your friend is intensely afraid of being fat, she talks nonstop about how many calories are in her food and what she weighed this morning, and she's starting to avoid situations where she's expected to eat. While you don't know for sure, you start to get worried that your friend might be developing — or already be suffering from — an eating disorder. It's a tricky subject. You want your friends to be healthy and you want to be fit with them, but what happens if your best friend starts to take it too far? Do you stand up and say something? Do you risk hurting your friendship or making her angry and pushing her away? It's worth it to speak up even if you're not sure, says Bonnie Brennan, clinical director of Eating Recovery Center’s Adult Partial Hospitalization Program. "I think that it is a mistake not to address your concerns with a friend for fear of hurting his or her feelings," Brennan says. "If a friend does not have an eating disorder and is offended by your inquiry, that emotion will usually last a very short time, even a few minutes. On the other hand, if you are correct about your friend's eating disorder, you may be saving a life, as eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any other mental illness."