How You Can Help a Bulimic Loved One

Bulimic woman sitting on a bed

Bulimia is just one of the common types of eating disorders recognized by experts around the world. In the U.S. alone, millions of men and women suffer from this potentially deadly eating disorder. If you know someone showing signs and symptoms associated with bulimia, what can you do to help?

One way to solve such a problem is by encouraging bulimic patients to undergo a bulimia treatment plan in Westport, Connecticut. The problem is that not everyone with this type of disorder is aware of their condition. Some find it hard to seek help because they are afraid of being judged. Others are plain ambivalent about rectifying the problem. The good news is that there are several ways to help your loved one manage their eating disorder.

Learn some facts

There are different types of eating disorder — not just bulimia and anorexia nervosa. Know the symptoms of each eating disorder, and see which ones your loved one exhibits. Learning about the common facts associated with bulimia will help you understand your loved one better.

Talk in private

Make sure that you’ve set the mood right and that you’re in a private place before opening up the subject. Some bulimic people tend to be ashamed of their condition, while others are either in denial or have no idea about their eating disorder.

Focus on your observations

Let them know that you’re only worried about their health and well-being. Take advantage of “I” statements instead of the accusatory “you” statements. Point out the behavior that you have observed personally, but don’t just focus on their weight and eating habits. Explain your observations calmly and raise concerns without attacking the person.

Prepare for negative responses

Man blocking his hearingPeople react differently when confronted with eating disorders. Some may feel embarrassed, ashamed, or in denial, while others may feel agitated and hostile. Be ready for any negative reaction. Understand that it can be tough for them to accept the fact their loved one has taken notice of their eating habits. Make them understand that your intentions are good. Reiterate your concerns and let them know that you’re very much willing to help them.

Refrain from imposing simple solutions

Telling your loved one to stop binge eating and purging won’t help solve the problem. Asking them to start eating properly won’t also help as doing so is not as easy as it sounds. They will either think that you don’t understand them and can only leave your loved one feeling more frustrated than ever.

Encourage professional help

It is advisable to encourage your loved one to see a doctor as soon as you suspect that they exhibit bulimia symptoms. But one can’t just force others to seek professional help. You might want to help your loved one manage their symptoms by asking for help. However, the best thing that you can do is to be their support system. Encourage them to acknowledge their condition and ask for professional care.

Prevention is always a better option than a cure. If you can steer your loved one to lean toward healthier eating habits, then it will be much better. If professional treatment is in order, encourage them to seek professional care before their condition worsens.