Social Question

onesecondregrets's avatar

What do you think of bulimia and bulimics?

Asked by onesecondregrets (2591points) November 8th, 2009

Could you ever be in a relationship with one, knowing of the disease?
Do you think you would be an enabler or try your hardest to get them help?
Would you be disgusted or empathetic?

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19 Answers

faye's avatar

It’s a disease, not to be disgusted by or with. bulemia can kill. It can also be helped by psychology.

Facade's avatar

I feel very bad for them. We all have our demons, but that one can be deadly.

augustlan's avatar

I feel sad for bulimics, but I don’t judge them. They have their issues, I have mine. That said, I don’t think I would knowingly get into a relationship with someone who did not have it well under control. Like any other mental issue that isn’t well managed, it exerts too much control over the individual and would have lasting negative effects on their relationships.

jsammons's avatar

I agree with @augustlan . It would have devastating effects on the relationship if it was too out of control.

As far as bulimia goes, I think it’s a terrible disease and I sympathize for anyone who has it. I would defiantly try to help someone get over such an awful illness.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I would never enter a relationship with an anorexic/bulimic because you cannot have a good relationship with someone who is not in control of themselves. A person caught in that downward spiral needs help with their illness before all else.
I would urge them to seek help.

wundayatta's avatar

Bulimia is a mental illness just like OCD and ADD and Schizophrenia and Anorexia and Bipolar Disorder. If you love someone, I don’t think you should run just because they are Bulimic. I think you should urge them to get treatment and medications that can help (I am assuming there are some—I’m not very familiar with the disease).

@The_Compassionate_Heretic A lot of people are not in control of themselves at one point or another (or more) in their lives. Maybe most people are. I think that if you apply your standard honestly, you won’t be involved with anyone.

Bulimics, like anyone with any mental illness, are not able to control themselves until they get meds and learn good coping techniques. I think they deserve our compassion. I think anyone who loves them can help by supporting them in getting the treatment they need. I have great sympathy for folks with brain disorders, but then, of course, I would—being one myself. But that doesn’t stop me from urging others to look beyond the illness to see the person, and, perhaps, fall in love with them.

Ah fuck it. Why do I always think I can help everyone personally? Why do I want to? It does nothing except make me feel even more inadequate. I can’t even deal with my own problems.

Likeradar's avatar

I agree with @augustlan and @The_Compassionate_Heretic.

I don’t judge or look down on people with serious EDs.
I wouldn’t date a person with a serious ED though. I want to be with someone who is in control of most areas of his life, and physical and emotional health are important to me in a relationship. I would certainly not not date someone who is well along in recovery, or who used to have an eating disorder.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@daloon To clarify, at no point did I suggest that anorexics/bulimics do not deserve empathy or understanding. I said I would not enter a relationship with one.

If you have questions about anything I write here, you are more than welcome to discuss it with me but I would ask you to please not to place words in my mouth.
Thank you.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@daloon That’s not true. I recall a certain time when I was in need of some serious help and you were there to lend a hand. For that, you can’t possibly be inadequate :)

wundayatta's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic Aah… I was just making a piddly argumentative point. I don’t think it’s being “out of control” that bothers you, because everyone is out of control to a greater or lesser extent, and I would guess that you would have a relationship with someone who is out of control.

I suspect you meant something more specific—that there’s some quality about people with eating disorders that you would stay away from, just as I’m sure you would also stay away from anyone else with a mental illness. You probably require a greater level of certainty that your partner will remain in control more of the time than you imagine mentally ill people would.

A lot of people share your point of view. I just don’t think people have to be as scared of mentally ill people as they are. We’re more under control than you think. In fact, I was told by an advocate for the mentally ill that one in five people has one mental illness or another. If you aren’t involved with a mentally ill person, then you almost certainly have one amongst your family and friends.

@ItalianPrincess1217 Thank you for saying that. However, I think you missed my point. I know I’ve helped various individuals. That’s not the problem. The problem is that I expect to personally help everyone! I can’t do that. No one can.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@daloon Of course not, but the fact that you have the ability to even help a few individuals should feel really good!

wundayatta's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 Yes, it should make me feel good. But it doesn’t. Or, if it does, it’s only for a short period of time. Sometimes I just can’t stand it. Why am I not happy with the things I do? I wish I knew. Maybe I need to feel bad, so I can be motivated to try to do better. Hmmmm. I wonder if the way I feel is kind of like the way a Bulimic feels? They can never see themselves as good looking (or whatever it is that they think is wrong with them), and I can never see myself as good. Makes me want to puke. And punish myself.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@daloon You’re still doing it.

augustlan's avatar

@daloon It seems to me as if @The_Compassionate_Heretic was just saying the exact same thing I said. It’s not a bias against mentally ill people… heck, I’m one of ‘em! But if I didn’t have my issues under control, I sure would pity the fool who became involved with me. I don’t want to speak for TCH, but if I were already involved with someone who later acquired a mental illness, I wouldn’t leave them over it because it wasn’t under control. That takes time, and I’d stay and help them through it. But to start a relationship under those circumstances? Not on a bet.

proXXi's avatar

I’d make them pay for their share of a meal.

rooeytoo's avatar

I have a friend whose daughter is bulimic, it is very sad, she is so skinny and has severe kidney problems as a result.

I would not want to enter into a romantic relationship with someone who had a mental illness. Relationships are difficult enough for me without extra problems. I have my own madnesses.

It is interesting though, through my reading of Melody Beattie and her books on codependency, it would seem the sort of person who would knowingly enter into that kind of relationship is a fixer type person or enabler. Same with the partners of alcoholics. If the drunk ever gets sober the relationship often fails because the dynamics are so different then. The fixer has no one to fix anymore.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I’ll trade you my Aspergers Syndrome for it.

stardust's avatar

I have absolute compassion for anyone going through this horrible condition. It takes over and leaves little room for ‘living’. It’s chaotic for the person dealing with bulimia and the people in their lives. If I happened to enter a relationship and then discovered there was an issue, I’d encourage the person to seek help, etc. If I knew beforehand, I probably wouldn’t enter into a r’ship. We all have our own issues to deal with. Relationships need work and the strain involved would be too much, knowing that my partner was dealing with his emotions in such an unhealthy way.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I can’t believe the heartless answer I gave last December. Please disregard it folks.

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