Overcoming bulimia is a painful journey. It is true for both the person with bulimia and her loved one. The trip is even more painful when the one with the eating disorder won’t cooperate with you. You’ll have to understand that the shame and guilt would fill them once they accept your help.
Clients with anorexia and bulimia who have pervasive psychological undercurrents motivating their behavior with food are negatively impacted by the billion dollar marketing efforts of the weight loss industry. — Dawn Delgado LMFT, CEDS-S
Acknowledging that they need your assistance is like admitting that they have a mental health problem and that is very difficult to swallow. However, no matter what your loved one declares, you know that your loved one needs support. Bulimia is a killer, and you don’t want your spouse to die because of the said disorder.
With that said, below are some tips on how you can help your partner who is suffering the said disorder.
Use Positive Language About Food.
When you talk about food with your partner who has bulimia, stay on the positive side. Focus the topic on its benefits and how delicious food tastes. Never talk about how it could boost weight and the possible health conditions that it can bring if you overeat. Doing so will only arouse guilt in the person which will then intensify the disorder.
Get Professional Help.
If talking to your partner is not enough, then it is imperative to involve professional help. You can start by bringing your spouse to a small group of people with the same condition for talk therapy. Your loved one will then get insights into the disease and how to overcome it. You can also seek the service of a professional psychiatrist. This expert is trained to address the condition.
But first, you have to understand that this mental health issue is not deliberate on your loved one’s part. Your loved one is not intentionally causing this to happen. You have to be patient and understanding.
Relapse rates are high, and many are on board that this is because treatment approaches have not been guided by an understanding of the etiology of each specific eating disorder. — Judy Scheel Ph.D., L.C.S.W., CEDS
Learn More About The Disorder.
The best way you can help your partner is by first educating yourself about the disorder. You can do research, talk to people who experienced the said condition or consult with a professional trained to assist those with bulimia. Being equipped with knowledge of the disorder will make you strong enough to help your partner face the condition head-on.
Shower Your Spouse With Love.
More than anything else, your partner needs you the most right now. She may not say it, but you know she needs you. Being judgmental and getting into the blame game won’t help at all. People with bulimia are dominated by shame, guilt, and insecurities. Instead of infusing more negativity to her, shower your spouse with positivity instead. Show your spouse how you love her. You can also do fun things together. It will not only keep her mind off the disorder, but it will help tighten the relationship bond as well.
Combining psychotherapy with nutritional therapies and yoga provides an integrative approach to efficacy and empowers our clients in their recovery process. — Leslie E. Korn Ph.D., MPH, LMHC, ACS, NTP
Start A Meaningful Conversation.
Most people find it hard talking about the disorder, but denying this kind of talk won’t help either. Talking to your loved one openly is a big help in solving some sensitive issues. You should do it with extra precaution, though. Do it with love, kindness, support, and gentleness.
Bulimia is a psychological disorder. It is more on the mind and the person’s emotions. Your presence, your encouragement and your willingness to be by your partner’s side as she goes through the process is the best weapon you have in overcoming the eating disorder.