How to help a person with bulimia: 6 tips for giving support - psychology - 2023



In general, people with bulimia try to hide their symptoms, and contrary to what is believed, many times their physical appearance is not extremely thin. However, by being attentive to the details, we can notice the presence of this disorder and provide them with the necessary care and support.

In this article we will see how to help a person with bulimia through various techniques based on psychological support, and we will also review the concept of bulimia and its main causes, as well as associated disorders.

  • Related article: "The 5 differences between Anorexia and Bulimia"

What is bulimia?

To adequately establish how to help a person with bulimia, it is important to know what this alteration consists of.

Bulimia is an eating disorder in which the person suffering from it feel an irrational urge to binge on food. These excesses occur in a short period of time, and later the feeling of guilt for having eaten in this way leads the subject to practice induced vomiting (this may be through manual techniques or by consumption of laxatives) or other forms of purging or attempts to lose weight.

Obviously, bulimia has repercussions on the person, leading to significant discomfort, both physical (vomiting and harmful eating patterns) and mental (anxiety and the inability to regulate binge eating). Intense states of anxiety as mealtimes approach they are characteristic in people with bulimia.

  • You may be interested: "Keys to understanding eating disorders"

Causes of this eating disorder

The origin of this disorder depends on various social, psychological and biological factors. People who are more prone to bulimia are generally constantly concerned about their weight, even though it is within normal parameters.

Subjects with obesity problems or those who do not feel satisfied with their physical condition and present a marked rejection of their own body or a particular characteristic of this, usually their weight (body dysmorphia), present a greater risk of developing bulimia .

Another circumstance that promotes the origin of this disorder is the need to meet beauty standards They promote some brands by spreading their marketing and advertising pieces.

Low self-esteem and personal insecurities are some of the most common psychological factors that can lead to bulimia.

How to help a person with bulimia?

In the next few lines we will see a list of tips on how to help a person with bulimia, explained so that they are easier to apply.

1. Avoid criticizing your weight

People with bulimia have a negative thought pattern when it comes to their own body. That is why any criticism, even if it is constructive and with good intentions, will detonate a significant discomfort in them. Ideally, don't emphasize your physical appearance during conversations.

2. Help them understand that they have a problem

The first step for the person to initiate a significant change in their dysfunctional eating habits is who understands that their behavior is causing serious health problems

It is important to talk to the person and make him see that the physical is not everything, and that physical and mental health are important, in addition to showing him that stumbling is a habit that should be corrected with therapy.

  • You may be interested: "How to find a psychologist to attend therapy: 7 tips"

3. Accompany you to therapy

It is not enough just to provide support, it is necessary to make that person understand that the best source of help comes from a behavior specialist. Psychotherapy allows people to stabilize and reduce bingeing and purging, as well as the rest of the symptoms associated with this.

The therapist will be able to determine the exact triggers for these behaviors and start a treatment plan that is in charge of treating specifically the thoughts of the subject that need to be restructured.

4. Accompany without overwhelming

Accompaniment, complementary to therapy, must be carefully carried out by the person providing the support, considering that subjects with bulimia are quite anxious.

It is necessary to be patient and gradually lead the subject to the restoration of their eating habits in a gradual way, making them see why they should eat properly.

5. Accompany the nutritionist

Once our accompaniment and therapy begins to bear fruit and the person understands by himself that he must change his eating habits, it is time to suggest that he attend with the nutritionist, who can tell you the best diet to stay healthy beyond binge eating.

6. Help improve self-concept

If we get the person to have a better self-concept, we are taking giant steps in winning the battle against bulimia, we must make the subject understand that we are more than our physical appearance; Helping you discover what your main strengths and strengths are helps a lot.