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Question
Posted by: JJH | 2008/06/02

Bulimia

Morning,

I've been with my girlfriend for 5 months now. She is 19 and I'm 23. The reason for my posting is because she has Bulimia. She has had it ever since she was 15 years old. We all thought that it had stoped but yesterday she told me that she never stopped... I want to help her and she needs help ASAP but she doesnt want her parents to know. And she also doesnt want to go for psychotherapy. How can I motivate her on some basis that she can understand how seriouse this is and that she can not cure it on her own! She needs help! She will most probably recent me for whatever i must do but that is besides the point! Her health at this moment is more importent than our relationship. How can I help her! Please help me...

Thank You!

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Our expert says:
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You are right about the message she needs to receive. Bulimia is a serious and dangerous problem which MUST get proper professional help. She will not cure this on her own, and there's nothing useful you can do except to persuade her to see a properly experienced psychiatrist for a full assessment and treatment. People with eating disorders are often dishonest with their loved ones, and cheat, lie, and hide the truth from them. She needs to tell her parents, too. If she could cure it on her own, surely she would have done so long ago. She needs to remember that people can still die from this condition, and that it can severely reduce their fertility.
You may need to read up on Tough Love, and consider refusing to see her until she has seen a psychiatrist and entered proper and serious therapy --- say that you can't bear seing her continue to damage herself, and to be so dishonest with her parents, you AND HERSELF. That wouldn't be giving up on her. It is she who has given up and can't be bothered to try. What nonsense to "give it a month" --- how many months has she had in which she never did give it up ?
Unfortunately, treatment will need her voluntary co-operation. But if you reward her by continuing affections while she insists on damaging herself, tou would be collaborating rather than helping her to get better. Continue to cae, but remember you can't solve this, and it isn't your responsibility, but hers. I understand the depth of your concern, but "I have to stay and make sure she gets better and STOPS completely! " is NOT an approach that will get her better. Until she genuinely wants to, no amount of wanting on your part can substitute for that. ANd maybe she only says she wants only you to help her, beause she knows that you can't do so.
And don'\t get trapped into speculation of things that may have happened in her childhood --- most often there is NOTHING that happened, and if something did, dealing with it is NOT the central secret towards her getting better. She needs to change her behaviour first, and her feelings and attitudes can catch up later.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: JJH | 2008/06/03

Aai... I dont know! She just told me that she does not want to speak to anyone! not her parents, a docter, a psychotherapist. She doesnt want to go to a hospital nothing! What can I do now??? I'm stuck...

Reply to JJH
Posted by: JJH | 2008/06/03

Thank you!!!

I really appreciate it!!!

Reply to JJH
Posted by: Gracie | 2008/06/03

Pse do that - go behind her back and speak to her parents - she will one day thank you for intervening! I wish I could do something to help you, but all I can do is hope and pray that you will be able to sort this out and that she will get the help she so desperately needs!

Reply to Gracie
Posted by: JJH | 2008/06/03

I just want to thank all of you for your concern and replys! I appreciate it.

It saddens me to think that she knows all the bad thing that is happening to her and that it can only get worse. She want's to stop but without profesional help... She did have profesional help before and didnt help. Maybe thats the reason she doesn't want to go anymore. She only wants me to help her... And the only way for me to help her is by going against her wishes and go behind her back and speak to her parents and somehow convince her to see someone.

Reply to JJH
Posted by: Gracie | 2008/06/03

I cannot recall exactly when, but there was a program on DSTV about a young girl in the UK who had a eating disorder (cannot remember whether it was Anorexia or Bulimia) and everything her family went through for her - she used to hide the food in her pockets and dispose of it later! She was in hospital more than at home. Her weight eventually went down to about 20kg before she died of heart failure.

I wish you only the best in trying to help your girlfriend - you sound like a wonderful guy. She must want to be helped or else she will not accept the help offered to her. It saddens me when I read about things like this - what happens in young girls' lives that make them want to destroy themselves slowly by not wanting to eat??!! We had a temp working with us who was extremely thin and clearly had an eating disorder - she used to order food from the take-away about 4 times during the course of the morning alone - gobble her food, take her handbag and stay in the bathroom for ages, come out, order food again and go thru the whole cycle - one could see by the bad condition of her skin, hair and her teeth that something was seriously wrong, but she did not want to take anyone's advice! You will no doubt have a huge fight on your hands, but hopefully if you persevere, your gf will soon realise that she is slowly killing herself! You need to get her family involved to see if you cannot all persuade her to go for counselling, but to reiterate what I said earlier, she must want to be helped! Good luck and keep us posted!

Reply to Gracie
Posted by: Tania | 2008/06/03

we tried 1 day at a time with a childhood friend. at the age of 18 she was wearin 13yr old clothin. as friends we tried 2 help where we cud. her parents didnt want 2 upset her by havin her back in hospital. sadly it didnt work out 4 her. she commited suicide. we can give all the advice we want, at the end of the day, it really is up to her. u can only do what is humanly possible, the rest is up 2 her.

Reply to Tania
Posted by: kb | 2008/06/03

Great, then you go alone. I think that is the least of your worries then, and they will see you in a much different light, and they will never forget you for trying to help their daughter. My ex bf did that for me, and my parents are still very good friends with him.

Reply to kb
Posted by: JJH | 2008/06/03

There is something from her childhood that i know of! Regarding her cousin. But I dont want to go to deep into that now. She was in Tarra for Bulimia. If I go to her parents I would have to go alone! She wont come along...

Reply to JJH
Posted by: sadi | 2008/06/02

It is so sad. What an awesome guy u are to want to help her.Was she in Tarra because of the Bulimia or something else?
Are her parents approcable? If they are go together and tell them. She also has to see someone. There is always an underlying reason for this to happen, even as far back as her childhood. Tell her you love her to much to see her do this to herself and you will help her and be with her all the way.
Let us know how things go.

Reply to sadi
Posted by: JJH | 2008/06/02

I wont! I will do my best to get her better!!!

Reply to JJH
Posted by: sum1 who knows | 2008/06/02

i know its not easy. but dont give up on her.

Reply to sum1 who knows
Posted by: Kb | 2008/06/02

Their is no easy way, and you must realise that.

Reply to Kb
Posted by: JJH | 2008/06/02

I know all of that... But how? It's not easy! I've been trying to work out what to do the whole day!

Reply to JJH
Posted by: kb | 2008/06/02

If her life means more to you than the relationship, TELL HER PARENTS. If that was my child i would want to know what she is doing. If something really bad had to happen, for instance she lands up in hospital, or dies because of this sickness, they will resent you for keeping this from them. You cant deal with this alone. I feel they have a choice to be involved or not.

Reply to kb
Posted by: sum1 who knows | 2008/06/02

you know what, the horror stories dont work, she probaly heard and seen it all. i told you, take it one dayy at a time. but hey i guess it went in the one ear and out the other.

Reply to sum1 who knows
Posted by: JJH | 2008/06/02

I tried today! I got as much info on the net as possible! All the bad stuff! Stuff that explains what it actually does does her body! That she can die because of that... No pics only send her articales. I'm not sure! She wont be able to sort it out herself! And I cant really help her! I can try! I am really trying at the moment! And I'm trying to encourage the fact the MUST go see someone... Again... This time she is older maybe she would understand better! I know... The future at this moment is going to be difficult for me! BNut I cant walk out and away now! That is not going to cure her! I have to stay and make sure she gets better and STOPS completely!

Reply to JJH
Posted by: Tania | 2008/06/02

ouch! mayb cybershrink has the answer. coz u certainly cant help sum1 who dusnt want 2 b helped. u hv a tough raod ahead of u. she really ought 2 c sum1! mayb u can access those horrible sites, download sum pics n horror stories, mayb shock her in2 seeking help.

Reply to Tania
Posted by: JJH | 2008/06/02

Thanks for your responds,

The problem i am having is that she does not want help! She was in Tarra when she was at school a couple of years ago! it did not help! She was a rebel and basically wasted her parents money. She does not want to talk to any expert and does not want any one to know! She wants to give it a month not to throw up! But surely a month wont make any differance? She cant do this on her own but she doesnt seem to want any help! it is almost as if she doesnt want to stop. My mother lost a sister when she was young who also had Bulimia! So I recommended my girl friend to talk to my grandmother for advice but she refuses! I really need guidance at this moment...

Reply to JJH
Posted by: Tania | 2008/06/02

mayb u should contact her psychologist. studies have shown that theres always an underlying cause, she needs to face it, its the only way that she can move 4ward. u mite want 2 chat 2 some1 2. what both of u r going thru is not easy. u need a proffesional 2 intervene here. its fantastic that u care so much. gud luck

Reply to Tania
Posted by: sum1 who knows | 2008/06/02

hi. i am bulimic too. been for 2 and a half years. she needs therapy and your support in letting her know she is beautiful and would look even sexier with sum curves. then with that she needs to see a dietician who will help create a meal plan. Understand it will not stop over night, it cant. Ask her to cut down on the throwing up. like if she does it 6 times a day. tell her to cut to 5 and then the next week to 4 times a day.

Reply to sum1 who knows

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