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3 Ways To Help Your Bulimic Teen

by Mauritânia Jesus

Discovering that your teen is dealing with a serious eating disorder like bulimia is scary and overwhelming. You want to help them, but may have no idea where to begin. The most important thing is to focus on being calm and supportive and enlisting professional help as soon as possible. Here are three effective ways to help your bulimic teen:

Enroll Your Teen in Residential Services 

Residential treatment for eating disorders is important because it will give your teen all the medical and psychological support she needs in a safe environment. Residential eating disorder treatment typically includes psychological counseling and group therapy in order to help your teen find healthy ways to cope with the feelings of low self esteem and self criticism that usually accompany eating disorders.

She will also have medical attention in order to help her body recover from the damage caused by bulimia, as well as guidance developing a meal plan and learning to have a healthy relationship with food. These complementary therapies will help her become stronger and get past her eating disorder so that she can continue to be healthy once she leaves treatment.

Get in touch with an eating disorder center California to learn more.

Educate Yourself About Bulimia

The more informed you are about bulimia, the easier it will be to have open and compassionate discussions with your teen and provide them with the right kind of support after they come home from treatment. Your teen's residential therapy center most likely has educational resources and counseling available for family members and it's a great idea to take advantage of this. You can also read up on bulimia in books or online guides in order to better understand the disease and what your teen is facing.

Consider Family Therapy

Bulimia can affect families in complex ways. You and your spouse may feel guilty that you didn't know about the bulimia sooner. There may be feelings of anxiety and fear that the eating disordered behavior will return. In some cases, dysfunctional family dynamics or a family environment that focused too much on perfection and image may have contributed to the bulimia developing in the first place. Family therapy is a great way for everyone in the family to process these complicated matters and learn to function well as a family unit.

While helping your teen cope with and heal from bulimia won't be easy, by following these tips you will be making positive progress and doing what's best for your family.