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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » bulimic friend

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Author Topic: bulimic friend
LucysDiamonds
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Hey guys - it's been a long time since I've been on the boards! Hope everyone's doing well [Smile]

Here's my situation. One of my best friends - we are REALLY close and tell each other pretty much everything - gained a lot of weight his freshman year in college (we're sophomores now), and then proceeded to lose almost all of it over the summer after freshman year. I think he ended up losing around 30ish pounds in three months. I was impressed, and he looked great when we got back to campus, but in the middle of last semester we were having one of our heart-to-hearts and he confessed that he'd lost so much weight by becoming bulimic, or just not eating. He claimed to have stopped that behavior since then. But he's continued to lose a lot of weight - he's 187 lbs and 6'5", which I know is in the "normal" range of BMIs, but he has a large-ish frame and he's starting to look unnaturally skinny. He hardly ever exercises, and eats a LOT of junk food (while constantly making comments about what a "fatty" he is) and often claims to feel like he's going to throw up after eating such food. He refuses to listen to his friends when we tell him that, really, he is NOT fat in the slightest. He's gay, and his parents are ridiculously conservative (he's not actually "out" at home) and controlling, so I feel like he's especially at risk of developing an ED to have something that HE can control - you know? I'm starting to really get worried about him, but I know his knee-jerk reaction if I brought it up would be to get very defensive and probably cut off communication with me, which is the last thing I want.

So, do you guys have any advice for how to deal with this?? (And sorry for writing a novel... haha)

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So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky
As someone told me lately
Everyone deserves the chance to fly

Posts: 365 | From: DC | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PenguinBoy
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Hi Lucy I'm really sorry to hear about all this. Someone I know is currently the other side of a terrible period of bulimia and still has a lot of problems.

I don't really have a lot of faith in BMI, as it's only a very rough guide that can often be wrong, and of course it can't take any account of people's mental health(This says it all really).

The very unfortunate thing about eating disorders is that the people with the problem often don't want help. If you think he'd cut you off for even wanting to talk about the issue then that's really dangerous as it will enable it to get a lot lot worse. There's a temptation to be "cruel to be kind" and forcibly give someone the help we think they need, but it can lead to a lot more severe problems and resistance to it could make them get even worse.

These things are really better left to experts, and I advise getting help from some person or organisation as quickly as possible... do you know of anywhere you could go?

http://www.edreferral.com/states/dc.html
The above, came top of the list when I googled the issue.

http://home.comcast.net/~rpike20625/freed/
This website also has a lot more links and phone numbers on it.

I'm sure some other volunteers could be a lot better critics on these sources. But if you want to have a look at them there may be some especially helpful stuff there.

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Posts: 633 | From: Bedfordshire, UK | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LucysDiamonds
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Yeah, I totally get what you're saying and that's why I don't want to bring it up... today he came over to my suite and we were standing in the hall and he said "hang on one second." He ran into the bathroom and I heard a distinct vomiting noise... *sigh* I think I'm going to make an appointment with our mental health people and ask them what to do. Thanks for the advice (and if anyone else has experience or thoughts on the matter, it'd definitely be welcome!).

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So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky
As someone told me lately
Everyone deserves the chance to fly

Posts: 365 | From: DC | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KittenGoddess
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Lucy,

That's an excellent idea. At the very least, they should be able to point you toward resources that might help him or help you come up with strategies to talk with him about it. It's difficult to talk with anyone about EDs, but it can often be even more difficult when it's a male friend (or what have you) that you're trying to talk to due to the stereotypes about EDs being a "girl thing" or about men not needing/accepting help. These stereotypes often make it very difficult for men to get help.

If you can check out the resources through your college, you can probably find some really helpful things. I've found that many of the people I know have been MORE open to seeing a mental health professional at a college or university because it's easier and feels more private in some respects than seeing someone outside. Most colleges offer mental health services for free to students. Usually you don't have to involve your insurance in order to get help. Since it usually doesn't need outside insurance, people sometimes feel safer because there's no insurance record that you were even seen by a mental health professional. So definitely check things out with those folks and see if you can find some resources for him.

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Sarah Liz

Posts: 7316 | From: USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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