National Eating Disorders Association

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Does my girlfriend have an ED

Hello, my names Alex and I am extremely worried about my girlfriend, Lauren and am possibly concerned she may be bulimic.
We have been dating my senior year of high school (3 years ago) and have become very serious. Throughout these 3 years I have never seen any signs of any eating disorders or strange habits until recently. My girlfriend has a history of depression throughout her family and has experienced her own depression earlier on in life before I met her. Since I have been with her she has not been depressed and has experienced no symptoms of depression (to my best knowledge). Recently however, things have changed.
Upon graduating high school we both chose to go to different universities a couple hours apart. When visiting her about a month ago after a heavy night of drinking is when the first episode occurred. We had been at the bars all night and had gotten drunk food in a restaurant when she broke down and started crying and started sobbing to me "how she couldn't do this anymore" and so on. She was extremely drunk at the time which is why I believe it finally came out. She eventually admitted to me that once we had got done eating our drunk food she went to need to act on behaviors because she felt so guilty. As she was sobbing telling me this to both myself and her best friend Karina from high school I was in absolute shock. I have been dating this girl for 3 years and had absolutely no idea that she was so self conscious about her body that she would ever make herself throw up to cope with her problems.
That night we slept at Karina's apartment and tried to recovery from our night of heavy drinking. When Lauren and I woke up she pretended as if nothing had even happened the night before and that everything was perfectly normal. I went along with this notion until I had the chance to talk to her 1 on 1 when I brought up the previous night to her. Lauren explained to me that it was a one time thing and that it had never happened before. I believed this and told her that if even if it was a one time thing that it is simply not okay to to engage in those behaviors no matter what the circumstances, even if it was your first time.
Now fast forward a month and a half later the present time when the 2nd incident happened tonight. We started out the night with our planned out date night of eating at the best bbq place in town followed by an ice skating date. After the ice skating date we proceeded to go out with my friends for a night of drinking, party hopping and a going to the bars. Lauren proceeds to get extremely drunk at the various parties we go to and then by the time we leave the bars she is borderline blacked out. I then walk her back to my on campus house and this is when the problems arise.
As soon as she walks into the door of my house Lauren instantly tries to separate herself from me at the bathroom (which is very odd for how long we've been dating). I Immediately know that something is not right and refuse to leave her side. She begins to beg and plead with me that she needs alone time but I refuse it give it to her. She then starts to break into tears and tell me that she needs to do something the "unnecessary" meal that she previously ate and I told her that wasn't an option. I hug her and tell her how much I love her and tell her she is perfect the way she is but to no avail. I try to hold her and comfort her but she acts as if she wants nothing to do with me. She then tells me she's going to get her things to get ready for bed (which I believed) and so I let her leave my side. After a couple minutes without seeing Lauren I return to my room to find she has gone missing. I then searched the rest of my house and find her doing something that isn’t healthy. I instantly pulled her away and helped her. Lauren the proceeds to tell me how she needs me to let her continue because spring break is coming up and how I don't understand what its like. I tell her that doesn't matter and that she simply can't do that to herself. She then admits to me that she often makes herself puke but only when she is drunk.
I eventually force her away from the bathroom and convince her to just go to bed for the night. As I type this she is currently passed out next to me in my bed. I am so scared and have absolutely no idea what to do. Lauren is the absolute love of my life and I would do absolutely anything for her no matter what the cost. I don't know if she should be diagnosed as being bulimic but nonetheless I am extremely worried for her. I am afraid that she is going to continue to go down this destructive path and I want to stop it before it becomes any worse which is why I am reaching out to this website. If anyone has any advice or suggestions on what to do in my situation and how I could help please let me know. As of right now I have not contacted any of her friends or family members but I feel like that she be my next step. What is preventing me from reaching out is that this behavior only arises when she is drunk which is why I have a tough time judging how serious the situation actually is. If anyone has any advice as to what to do and what I can do to help her please let me know. Thank you.


We are so glad that you have come to the NEDA forum for advice and support from other NEDA forum users.
We edited your post so that it fit within the NEDA guidelines. One thing that we had to edit was particular behaviors that might be triggering to other users. We hope you continue to use our forum as a place for support.


This sounds a lot like something my husband would have posted back when he first saw the likes of my eating disorder and it comes close to home for me. You sound so passionate and loving and supportive for your girlfriend. She is very lucky.
I remember my eating disorder days and how distant and isolated I was. My eating disorder wanted me all to itself. The fact that she keeps telling you that she engages in the behavior tells me she knows there is a problem, but might be too scared to do something about it. I know I have done that. I was scared for my life, but I couldn't get the help I needed.
Even though I think you know there is a problem, this is the link to the eating disorder screening:

Keep telling her shes beautiful, be there for her, but don't let her manipulate you. Trust me. Eating disorders are the most manipulative diseases. They will tell you anything to get you off our back.
"I'll try" "I'll change"" "it was only once" "I want to be better. I'll do it on my own."

Much luck to you!