Get Help for Bulimia
In a world where modern medicine is all around us, it sounds strange to ask where to get help for bulimia. But this condition comes with some real social stigma. It survives and thrives when concealed and those suffering from it often try to keep things secret.
Advantages: A wealth of information and anonymous interactions. Websites ranging from Wikipedia to the Mayo clinic have information about bulimia. It can be searched and read without fear of exposure, making the Internet a major gateway for bulimics trying to understand what’s happening. Along with this, support groups and forums can connect patients with peers where they can discuss treatments and share experiences.
Disadvantages: Along with the good information, the Internet has a Wild West, anything goes side as well. The most reliable information (from trusted sources) is often too general to be of much use. And the more specific information can be intentionally misleading to sell a product. Forums can be harmful when they become echo chambers for bad advice, and it is rarely from someone who actually knows you.
Family and Friends
Advantages: Your family knows you and they know your circumstances. For teens, a parent has both the resources and the life experience to connect them with the help they need. A trusted friend can also help give advice and is more willing to overlook the “shock” factor.
Disadvantages: Bulimia is embarrassing and often misunderstood. Asking family and friends for help isn’t easy because we fear they will react badly. There are so many other dimensions to the relationship, they may not be able to focus on just this problem separate from all the other things.
Advantages: Here is where the real expertise can be found. A professional, trained in eating disorders, brings their knowledge to bear directly. They offer a private, third party perspective with the best assurance of real help. There are proven treatments for eating disorders.
Disadvantages: The main disadvantages come from cost and ease of access. Depending on one’s circumstances, it may be difficult to find and pay for treatment. This is especially so for teens with limited resources.
We interact with a variety of trusted “others” who may be useful for getting help with bulimia. Some examples: Pastor, school counselor or nurse, employer or coworker.
The best path to getting help starts with a firm resolve that help is needed. That provides the motivation. From there, the secret has to be shared with someone. Who that “someone” is will depend on which person is most trusted, accessible and skilled enough to help. But even less than the best help is still helpful, and any aid at all is better than keeping things hidden.
Like many other disorders, curing bulimia starts with exposing the problem – sunlight acting as a wonderful antiseptic. Don’t let things fester in the dark. Tell someone.