Eating Disorders

The Effects of Bulimia on the Family

When thinking of the Effects of Bulimia, we usually only think of the person indulging in an eating disorder behavior. However, it’s not only the person with the eating disorder that suffers, but the surrounding friends and family also.

Bulimia affects the health of the person indulging in an eating disorder behavior. No one will contradict that statement.

However, how often do we think of the friends and family members that care for the person with the disorder? The loved ones who may live with that person, those who may work with that person, and those who may just spend time with that person?

We all have family and friends that we either live with or we spend time with. Those people are usually affected, some more than others, any time a person they care about is feeling unwell or exhibiting behaviors which are not normal to them. Some are more observant than others and some just take any change with equanimity.

A parent may become quite concerned when they see a son or daughter losing weight quickly. They may start to wonder where the weight loss is coming from when they haven’t seen any eating differences during mealtimes. If they are well informed, they may start watching for signs of an eating disorder.

A sibling could become upset upon hearing strange noises coming from the bathroom after each meal. When asked, many with eating disorders deny any behavior that could possibly point them out as having a disorder. A sibling may feel compelled to join in the same behavior or possibly rat out their sibling instead to get the behavior to stop.

A friend may be concerned when they hear a common theme throughout conversations; looking ugly or overweight, feeling fat when the person is thin, and possibly hearing their friend say that they hate themselves. Maybe that they don’t like themselves and never have anything nice to say about themselves.

These are all comments that any friend would feel uncomfortable hearing over and over and would probably start to strain the relationship.

While the person with the eating disorder is the one having health issues, we must remember that no man is an island and that we all have people who care about us. Those people, while they may not have an eating disorder, do have to deal with the effects of bulimia or the eating disorder of the person they love.

Family members may also need some form of treatment along with the person with bulimia or an eating disorder to make sense of the issues at hand.

Healing comes in many forms, but healing occurs much quicker with the support of those who love you.

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