A little help

Hi there,

So I am not a sufferer, but my long term girlfriend is. She has been bulimic for the last two years and we've recently moved in together. From not really spending long periods of time together (we used to see each other just weekends) it became obvious fairly quickly that she wasn't eating properly. She denied anything wrong, but after I did a bit of detective work on her computer it soon became apparent that she has a serious problem.

We've talked about it, and i've tried to offer support. It's kind of hard when you don't understand it. Her sister also suffers from an eating disorder and is more vocal about it than my girlfriend. It's all caused a lot of anger and pent up frustration to gain 'control' over what she eats.

I try to just make normal meals, and normal portions. But this obviously isn't enough. To be honest, our relationship is deteriorating quite rapidly. It's hard to love someone that hates their self and can only use the frustration to channel into other arguments.

I feel that she spends her whole time looking at images in magazines (thinspo) and if she asked any average guy what they thought of the images they would be disgusted. But that's what she aims for. She's beautiful, in fact she was far more beautiful when she had some curves and a figure.

Basically I need some help........

Hi Anchor, welcome to support groups...
As an ED sufferer myself, I often neglect to think about the effects my ED has on those I love. It's very hard when you're caught up in the ED world to see past it.
From the sounds of it, it doesnt sound like your girlfriend is in a place where she believes its a problem, therefor my next question I can probably answer, but i'll ask anyway, does she seek professionl help for her ED?

Hey Gina.

Thanks for taking the time to read and reply. She is in the process of seeking medical help. She's had some blood tests etc and I think we need to see a councilor.

I don't understand why someone would want to be so destructive to themselves. It always ends in failure. The achievement isn't quite the success they envision.

welcome to SG! wea re a close knit family here and very understanding and supporting...

love
maureen

hi anchor, i thinks it's great that you reach out in order to help your girlfriend and your relationship.
i can only imagine how hard it must be to live with and love someone who suffers from an ED. i certainly would not want to live with myself.
but it is not a matter of your girlfriends WANTING to be so destructive. do you think an alcoholic plans to destroy themselves when they have their first few drinks?
it is more a matter of seeking something, not being aware of this search to fill a void, not knowing there even is a void, and certainly not realizing that we are trying to fill it by trying to reach a certain weight and hence starving and/or bingeing (and purging).
by the time we realize it's too late, the addiction is already full throttle.
and that's exactly why it is so important that she DOES get the medical help.

re your situation at home: when you talked about her ED, what did she say? how did you offer support? trying to help anybody with an ED is like standing on a knife blade. one step wrong and you're done. yet it seems there is no way of doing it right. and that is simply because the ED voice in our head always finds a way to twist every fact and truth and make it seem like a lie to us. no matter how nice you may be about it all, your gf may still take it the wrong way (sorry to be so upfront). but do keep trying, if only to help her get the professional support she needs.

all the best, and keep posting
maedi

Anchor, its important to realize its a disease, and one not to be taken lightly. No one does this willfully and intentionally, atleast not anyone i know. It's a mental disorder and much more complex then just wanting to look a certain way.

anchor...I'd like to welcome you as well! As you can see, this is a very supportive community of people who do understand. Please insist that your GF get professional help. An ED affects everyone in the person's life, and while they may not be in control of their actions for numerous reasons, I truly believe that you should set limits and take care of yourself. Please keep sharing, and I hope your GF will also reach out to us here.....take care...Jan ♥

Thanks everyone. We're going to get professional help, I think she's realised that everything is falling apart around her so it's now to a point where she and I need to address it. I feel a bit of a fool for not spotting any of this sooner, but life before we didn't see each other much, so she could act differently around me and then go back to her ways during the week.

Has anyone had any good experience with any professional councilors? I'm based in Brighton, UK. I don't want to use the NHS as I think they're just too **** slow with anything they don't think is a massive issue. I also don't want to use a phoneline. Just somewhere to talk to someone in person. Like you said, taking advice from a loved one doesn't really work (it's usually ignored).

She's quite scared that a doctor will laugh at her and not take her seriously. I guess she doesn't look dangerously thin, and isn't your typical image of someone with an eating disorder. So she thinks they will just overlook her. Both I and her know that it needs to be taken seriously.

I'm understanding that this may take time. She is getting better, even started eating 2 meals a day (sometimes 3). I know that she will get better, but this all happened before some 10 years ago. She's fallen in to the same trap and I just would hate for this to happen again.

Maedi is from the uk maybe she might know?

yeah, here i am :-)

i totally agree. if you can do anything else other than NHS do it. i've been waiting for over a year now and despite having been/being suicidal they refused any help. but no matter what you do, be persistent and keep pushin for what she needs!

i live in the north so not sure about individual counselors. is she privately insured then? when i looked for inpatient treatment myself i was quite impressed by the Priory group. they are england wide and seem to have a good concept. a friend of mine recently went (down south) although not for ED. but she came out of there well revived.

this website has all kinds of stuff for private healthcare, maybe you can find feeback from people too.
http://www.privatehealth.co.uk/hospitals-clinics-services/psychiatric-care-clinics-and-hospitals/

i'm glad she realized the severity of her problems and i'm sure she is very grateful for you standing by her.

let us know how you get on.

xx

Hey. Im fairly new to this too, although I have been aware of the eating disorder for 2 years. As you prob have read, being supportive, yet having boundries and insisting she seek help. Dont be surprised if she backs out and wants to rely on herself again. What Janurse said-ya have to take care of yourself, if not you become codependant. I wish i had only been more assertive about her seeking help early, when the love she had for me was something she feared losing.

Good luck!