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Treatments for Bulimia and Keys to Bulimia Recovery - Find Your Support System

Updated on September 25, 2011
Family and friends can be a tremendous support in bulimia recovery.
Family and friends can be a tremendous support in bulimia recovery.

The fact that I successfully overcame bulimia after 20 years is a testament, not only that effective treatments for bulimia exist, but also to my support system. My husband, friends and God have been my support system and my source of strength. They gave me to will to begin, and to stay the course during my bulimia recovery journey.

If you are reading this article and searching for a resolution to your bulimia, there is much advice that I can offer in terms of treatments from bulimia. This stems from my own experience, as well as the knowledge about bulimia treatments I have gained over the years. Apart from the other treatments that you may be exploring or undergoing, I would like to offer you a piece of advice -find a support system. Recovery is usually counted in years, not days or months.  The road to recovery is best traveled with friends and loved ones.

Because I had bulimia I’d like to think I know something about you.  You’re probably outgoing or at least on the surface people think you’re friendly, social and approachable.  However, deep down you feel isolated and alone.  You’re used to internalizing your problems and trying to solve things on your own.  Well, I can tell you recovery is much sweeter and smoother if you have help along the way.  Trying to solve this problem (your eating disorder) by yourself is not something I would recommend.

Many Roads to Healing

Therapy from a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, social worker or a counselor can help delve into the issues and problems that cause eating disorders. Counseling can be done individually or in groups. It can even involve the family, which can be particularly helpful for teenage bulimia. Bulimia treatment facilities can also help overcome disordered eating, and other harmful behaviors and offer overall treatments for bulimia.  Support groups exist online in the form of chat rooms and social network pages and offline there are many eating disorder meetings throughout the country.  The best support you can get will come daily from friends and loved ones, so it’s important to let them know about your recovery goals.  Not every means of support will be suited for everyone, so try one and if it works, stick with it.  If it doesn’t, try something else until you find the support that serves your needs.

Your Support System Options

Family – Family can be a tremendous support.  Or not. They can provide a calm and loving home atmosphere that is conducive to recovery. They can make sure that you get the treatments for bulimia that you need.  Don’t assume your family won’t or can’t provide you with support.  Ask.  Don’t let your fear of coming out kill of the possibility of their support.  If they’re unwilling or unable, then you can turn to other alternatives.  Your family is the best shot you have.  Even consider asking them to join you in counseling if there are issues that involve the entire family.

Friends – Friends understand you the best. They are probably the people that you can speak most honestly and frankly with. Sharing your problems and working together to find solutions can help you  cope when recovery challenges you – and it will. Friends will keep you on track and are there when you need someone to lean on.

Overeaters Anonymous – Overeaters Anonymous (O.A.) is a 12-step recovery program like Alcoholics Anonymous that welcomes everyone with any eating disorder. In most large cities they have several chapters and hold meetings at all hours of the day, 7 days a week.   O.A. provides a structured recovery program in the form of their 12 steps.  And, if you elect, they partner you with a sponsor already in recovery for very individualized support.

Online bulimia support groups, forums, and chat rooms – Sometimes it’s more comfortable to tell a stranger about your problems. It may be because they have the same problem and can relate better, because you can speak more freely and openly, or because they can offer fresh perspective. You can be as visible or as anonymous as you want online.   This is a great way to reach out and get help if you’re not comfortable telling the people in your life or you live in a rural area where you can’t meet people in person.

Whatever support system you choose to start with is up to you, but people can be a valuable part of your treatments for bulimia.  Asking for help can be very uncomfortable at first, but it gets easier.  I found people were surprised when I told them because they had no idea I had an eating disorder, but once they knew they were more than willing to help with my bulimia recovery.


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    • PollyMertens profile image

      PollyMertens 6 years ago from California

      Hi MicheleLynn, I really appreciate the feedback from a fellow woman in recovery. Thanks so much!

    • MicheleLynn profile image

      MicheleLynn 6 years ago from Wilmington , NC

      Great Hub! I too suffered with an ED. Took some time to "recover". I found that being a mentor while in the recovery process was a great way to stay focused. voting up and useful!!