Nicole Richie Withering Away to Nothing

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On October 26, a rep for Nicole Richie announced that the "actress," whose weight slipped to 87 pounds this summer, was undergoing treatment for her weight issues.

She postponed filming her reality show, The Simple Life 5, dropped out of sight for three days, and moved into a friend's house for support.

Welcome, 2010!

"I'm not in rehab, and I don't have an eating disorder," Richie said. "I'm getting the help I need and taking care of my health."

Right. And we don't have a crush on Kristin Cavallari, per se. We just have a heightened romantic interest in her.

The other night, Nicole collapsed at Hyde. But Nicole's dad, Lionel Richie and Nicole's mom, Brenda Harvey Richie, have been concerned for a long time, and their 25-year-old daughter was affected by her relatives' shock when she came to Alabama to attend a grandmother's October 21 funeral.

"They told her she was too skinny and it really hit home," says a friend who attended the memorial. "It was a turning point. They did not tell her directly to get help, but it helped motivate her."

As her dad explains his approach to his daughter's health:

"There's a fine line between advice and preaching. Let her get into the position and then have her say, ‘Dad, how do I get out of this?'"

One thing she is wondering: Why wasn't she able to gain weight on her own, when she had cut down her workouts and added two Pro-gain protein shakes a day to her diet? And will Samuel Plouchart stick by her side through this?

She's told friends that she's worried about a possible medical condition. Though Richie won't confirm the nature of her treatment, the Gossip has learned that she is being seen at a Newport Beach, Calif., facility, where she is undergoing doctor consultations and blood tests.

Is this the same rehab center visited by Kirsten Cohen on The OC? We may never know. But if these Nicole Richie pictures are any indication, it's a damn good thing she's undergoing some sort of treatment. Man, she is thin!

What did preliminary blood tests conclude about Richie's inability to pack on pounds? How does Nicole really eat amongst friends? How did Nicole's ex-fiancé, Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein, and her ex-boyfriend, Brody Jenner, react to news that they once dated an alien life form?

We'll have to wait and see.

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Is all this fair? Not everyone eats from depression, you know. (And her breakup with DJ AM might have made her very depressed) I am one of the rare people who cannot eat when I'm depressed. I simply can't. If I do, it won't go down or stay down. When I get depressed, I get anxious and twitchy, my energy level increases, not decreases. A bout of the blues or stress for me usually means a steady and often rapid weight loss until I'm happier and more stable again. And I don't even suffer clinical depression! If I did, I'd be the size of a pea. Could it be even remotely possible that this is what's going on? After all, she's seemed to be gaining since Joel came into her life.. She might also very well have an eating disorder. I don't know her so I can't say. But rapid weight loss in women is always chalked up to an ED, to conscious and attempted loss, and it's irritating, shortsighted and anti-feminist.