Posted by: sharns | 2008-11-02


Hi there
My friend has suffered from anorexia and tends to overdo the alcohol yet it never even touches her. I know thats a problem she is getting help and is on anti depressants. Last night she told me she sees people walking around and she has never told anyone because she thought it was insane.What could this be, it seems she is hallucinating, but she can describe what they are wearing, age everything and they are around all the time.She gets confused between reality and her imagination.I know she could be attention seeking but either way I need to understand what is going on.It scares me and she really started freaking out last night!
She is just a very scared little girl, what can I possibly do to help her?

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Our expert says:
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Of course the alcohol will undermine the effects of the antidepressants, and its strange, with the lower body weight and lower body fat of anorexics, that she isn't more affected by it. The additional symptom of seeing people is worrying. It could be happucinations, either of an illness like schizophrenia in its own right, or caused by chemical imbalances or physical problems in her body, or, if she has been taking large amounts of alcohol for some time, and on the other hand occasionally goes a day or morwe without drinking, it could be caused by intermittent alcohol withdrawal ( like delirium tremens ). And of course, as you mention, there could be an alement of attention seeing as well. She needs to discuss this rankly wioth her treating psychiatrist ( I hope, with this degree of complexity in her problems, that she IS being treated by a psychiatrist and not only a GP ) --- she needs to be frank with him, so she can get a proper accurate diagnosis, and can then get treatment that will help her to get better. Encourage her to do this as soon as practical

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