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Helping a friend with Bulimia watch

    • #1
    • Thread Starter

    Hi guys! Anonymous as I don't know if she has an account on here.

    Could do with a little help here! It's long and i'm going to cut straight to the point. I've a friend at uni who told me she was bulimic about 6/7 months or so ago. I have to be honest I did suspect there was something wrong before she told me. I'm the only person she's told and her boyfriend only found out by mistake.

    I've never met anyone who's bulimic before and I'm trying my best to support her. When she told me about it she was in a complete mess. I simply let her get it out of her system, tell me how she was thinking, how it effects her, what makes it worse, I let her show me things on the internet and explain it to me and I asked questions to understand it better myself.

    We'vew barely been in our house and back at uni a week and she's been to me crying. She's been on the Pill recently (how long i'm not sure) and that has affected her and main her depressed, as said by her doctor. This and being bulimic is not a good match.

    She's told me she's constantly crying, panicing whenever she goes out (if at all) about seeing other people thinner than her and thinking that she's fat, she panics when she has to eat alone (if she eats at all) and is having thoughts that she might as well be dead and she's a waste of space. All a bit overwhelming for me as I've only been in the house just over 24 hours.

    I know she likes structure, so she knows where she stands and has a timetable. She normally only eats packaged things as she can see how much is in there and how many calories (and eat the amount acorrdingly). She recognises what she's doing is stupid and said so herself but when she's in that state of mind she can't think of anything else but after she can see how silly she's been.

    Apparently she was sick last night and another of my housemates thought it was one of us from being out last night and drinking too much. She also nearly cracked and burst into tears when everyone was watching a TV show and someone made a joke about bulimia (I wasn't there.) I've tried to explain to her that the chances are the others don't understand bulimia and don't recognise how it effects someone, mentally and physically. I've tried to show her that if she told them they may understand and be more aware. She's worried about what they might think, that they may judge her, and thinking, for example, that whenever she goes to the loo she's automatically going to be sick. She was worried that I was going to be like that and to be honest I was (and still am) more aware of her and the conversations and topics she was bringing up.

    I feel a bit out of my depth here. I've told her I wont say anything to the others but if they aske me about it I'll tell them to speak to her. Iit's not my place to say but I don't want to lie and ruin my friendships with the others; this was she can make a call herself on how to approach it.

    She feels more secure when her boyfriend is with her, which is understandable but she can't depend on him all the time as he's not here all the time. She's concerned that people are gonig to think she's taking the micky with him being here all the time and if it's broguht up she'll tell them. However, he was at halls often last year so I doubt it'll occur to the others to think anything of it and so she wont say anything.

    I'm trying to support her but I've got my own problems I'm trying to deal with myself.

    I don't know how to help her.

    I had a different issue, of someone I know self harming. But basically what I kept doing was enforcing on them the fact that it was wrong and to think about what they were actually doing, why they were doing it, weeks of this, making them realise there really was no reason to carry it out. In my case as it was very upsetting for me to realise they'd done it again, I also made that point, but how upset it made me, and how it upsets other people, and she should talk to me for support, not resort to that. This was 3 years ago, she lives with me now and is a totally different person, ok she's not out going at all, she's still shy and has some confidence issues but she is so much happier, in my case she basically needed the support, needed a loving friend really.

    Obviously in your case the condition is more complex and she knows she has a problem. I suppose you could think about when she first started this? What set it off, try and find out what it was and she if she can overcome that past problem now?
    • #1
    • Thread Starter

    I've tried to approach my friend the same way you have. I'm so glad to hear your friend is doing much better!

    I've told her it will take time and that there's no quick fix, and one option might not be right for her, nor mazy the next but there will be something to help. I've told her it's a good thing that she's been able to share it with me and that I was proud of her for having the confidence to share. I've also told her it's good that she's been able to see that what she does is silly and she can recognise it herself.

    I've tried to get to the bottom of the cause and she said years ago when she was a teen her best friend who is massive (and I'm not being funny her she really is big I've met her) slept with her boyfriend at the time and she haddn't even slept with him yet. She said it wasn't the fact that he cheated or that she wanted to have sex with him but in her head she though why her and not me? And she got it into her head that she was fat and unattractive and that her best made was slimmer than her.

    She has said that it's not a problem anymore and she's still friends with this girl but clearly it's prominent enough for her to say. When she told me I automatically did think that that may have been the route cause.

    I don't know how to help her. She hates going to the doctors and she thinks it's weak. I've told her everybody needs help and some point not everyone can manage by themselves. I was amazed she'd even been to the doctors to go on the Pill! I suggest her talking about her Bulimia as well as the depression as they're unlike to help each other and she didn't automatically reject the idea about speaking of her Bulimia so that's a bit of an improvement..
    • #2

    I suffered with what I canonly descibe really as undiagnosed EDNOS and even though I dont regularly purge etc. If I am upset, the thoughts do reoccur, and I might do.
    When I am drunk I get very emotionl (I am a cryer lol) and I told my best friend and it was nice to be able to get it off my chest, in a sense it helped me by helping her understand too. I understand it is slightlyy differnt in ur case as you arent that close, but by the ounds of it uare doing just great at supporting her.

    If you have problems toolike you say (whatever they might be) I would suggest you talk them over with her. It might be nice for her to feel like she isnt completely alone in er suffering, everybodyhas **** times, and it might do her the world of good helping you out.

    My best friend has depression and me advising her helped me put my issues in perspective and understand the way I am better. xx
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