View Full Version : Concerned; (please read if you can offer help)

08-08-2008, 10:41 AM
I'm here to ask a few questions.
Firstly, I'm a friend of a bulimic. I thought I'd join a forum to get some insight for myself and some help for her.
She's only just started to 'purge' (as she calls it) and I want to know whether she'll lose weight quickly. I know she weighs [edit], which is light to start off with but now she's making herself sick too.

Will the weight come off quickly?
Does addiction also come with bulimia?
How soon until she gets ill?

She's been through self-harming before and that was an addiction she dealt with and is still dealing with after 2 years. I'm holding out for her because no-one else seems to. I'd appreciate anyone's help as soon as possible.

It's urgent.

08-08-2008, 10:55 AM
everyone says you dont lose weight,
but I get sick everytime I eat,
I dont purposly purge,
I just get sick.
and since I developed the, idk, condition, I've lost a lot of weight, but I think it's because I rarely eat.
but honestly,
It's not worth being sick all day, everyday.
and it tears up your stomach and throat,
And it wears you out,
it's just not worth it.
and yea,
it does become an addiction,
just like cutting.
purging almost becomes a sense of release,
but really it's just not worth it at all,
and if your friend is already rather skinny,
it probably won't make her any thinner,
she'll just be ill and weak.

08-08-2008, 02:27 PM

firstly, I want to say it's great you have joined to get some insight... and that you want to help her. You should realize, however, that it has to be her who has to want to change but it will be invaluable that you will be there for her, anytime she needs you..

secondly, to your questions....
they are hard to answer as they are very individual. It's extremely difficult to say whether she will lose weight quickly or not as I have no idea what her eating patterns are and how fast her metabolism is. Many bulimics don't in fact lose any weight at all, some may gain some because you can never purge everything out, some lose weight as well but most often the weight of a bulimic fluctuates quite a lot.
I personally lost a lot of weight at the very beginning as I rarely ever ate anything without purging, I would do nothing but eat bits and pieces and purge right afterwards. At the moment I am not too sure as I stopped weighing myself but people around me keep telling me I keep losing weight but I don't see it. I often wonder how much it is due to being bloated and how much due to having a distored body image of myself... and others too. I have to admit this scares me, I realize I am no longer able to truly judge my body in an objective way, I have lost the ability to see it as it is... it's a little like being a schizophrenic if you wish... you see your reality but others tell you something else and you have to come to the point of believing them and trying to stop believe yourself... a bit messed up.

Does your friend actually binge, i.e. does she eat a large amount of food before she purges? And by large I mean certainly more then a normal person would eat in about two hours? Or does she eat very little and then purge? If the second is true, she could be a purging anorexic who tries to get rid of any food she eats... but its hard to tell because you can go through many phases, sometimes eating very little and still feel the need to purge, sometimes eating A LOT and feel the urge to purge, ... it's simpler to call it an ED because whatever you do, it's wrong and it is an illness just like an addiction and yes EDs certainly could be seen as addictions. I often wonder what we are in fact addicted to... is it food? Is it the need for control? Is it self-harm? Is it the need to be slim? Is it the need to be able to fill ourselves and then the ability to let it all out and feel empty again? I am not sure... perhaps it's a combination of all those factors, I find it hard to tell.

To your question when she will get ill. . . The moment she starts and the more she does it the more ill she gets. She will get addicted to it and lose control. That is a mental illness in it's own right. It's often said that this addiction is one of the most difficult to get rid off perhaps because it isn't about food as such, it's based on underlying issues often burden deep insight one's mind.
As to the physical side of it... again, very individual. It depends on how often she purges, how much she keeps down, ets but generally she will soon find herself exhausted, bloated, with dry skin, fluffy hair and messed up stomach and digestion. These are the common first problems and they tend to appear pretty quick. Along with these there are the much more serious ones which you may know about and if you dont you will find them in any book ... I cannot tell you when those may appear. It depends on her genetic information, her physical state right now and how she treats herself. It's impossible to guess the timing... I don't know it with myself either. I have experienced times when I thought it was all gonna be over. Lucky enough, still hasn't. But it has alrady affected my general health, including my teeth. I hope I will be wise enough to stop before it's too late and I hope that so will be your friend.

I personally suggest talking your friend into an individual therapy which would help her find out those underlying issues making her find compensations in the for of addictions. I dont think there is any other true way out. The problem is, we all take time to get on the road of recovery and we all take time to walk through it.

08-08-2008, 02:30 PM
btw sorry for all typing errors, I am really tired.

08-09-2008, 03:16 AM
She hardly eats anything. But I've seen her eat a meal and then go to the bathroom straight away afterwards.
I'm real worried about her. I haven't spoke to her in a few days; she's on holiday and I thought maybe she'd be okay because she's not at home.

Thank you for all your help.

08-09-2008, 07:22 AM
Thank you even more for all your brilliant advice.

She's been funny about food ever since she started to self-harm. There was obvious weightloss there, but she wasn't trying to lose weight. It was like she was substituting blood for food, so she probably won't binge. I can't rely on that quote though.

I know I can't force her to do anything. It was hard enough getting her to listen to advice about self-harm. I know she visited a councillor for quite a few sessions and that the treatment ended and she's okay about all of that.

I've noticed that other bulimics don't like accepting help. I offered joining this site to another friend who'd been doing it for a year, but she said "thanks, but no" so I don't think my friend will be any easier to convert.

You're advice has been brilliant.
Bless you all.