National Eating Disorders Association

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drlemur
Laxative abuse damage?

My girlfriend has been abusing lax and suppressants and things for a very long time since before I met her even. I've always been worried about this but I can't stop her doing it obviously. God knows I feel like throwing them in the bin when I see them but I know this wouldn't help things any. I feel like any comment I make about them or anything else I do will only make the situation worse so I have to stand by why she hurts herself by taking way too many and it just feels awful having to do that. Sometimes she tells me she has taken too many and has been bleeding when going to the toilet but today she told me she's been bleeding for several days and it hasn't stopped. She collapsed in the shower after being too weak from purging yesterday and all of this behaviour sprang from a comment I made that she took the wrong way so I feel responsible for all of it and she's telling my friends (our mutual) as much who are furious with me and it's making me look like some kind of heartless abuser. In reality I really just don't know what to do apart from continue to try and avoid her triggers. She refuses to see a doctor about the bleeding and I'm really worried. I know this isn't a medical advice forum but has anyone else heard of this happening with lax abuse? She seems to think it's fine because it's happened before and she hasn't died yet but it's very hard for me to take constant rectal bleeding as "fine." Plus I know tonight it's just as likely she will take lax again and things could escalate further. I just don't know what to do or what the right thing to do here is. I just don't want to make things worse and I don't want her obviously giving herself permanent damage. Has anyone else been in this situation with a partner or similar and if so what have you done?

Recovery_Focused
Laxative Abuse

Hi,

I would also be very concerned. Is there anyone else you can ask for support to try to encourage her to seek treatment even if it's short-term medical treatment?

NEDA may be able to help with resources.

NEDA Contact:
Helpline 1-800-931-2237
Chat at www.myneda.org
Text "NEDA" to 741741

She is lucky to have you!

_admin_moderator
Community Guidelines

Hi drlemur,We wanted to let you know we edited your post to remove numbers and eating disorder behaviors that could be triggering to our other forum-goers. Please review our Community Guidelines to ensure we can continue to keep this forum a safe space for all of our users: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/forums/community-guidelines

drlemur
Worried

Very sorry if I've used language that might be triggering. It's sometimes difficult when explaining the behaviours to word things correctly. Half my problem with my girlfriend is me saying the wrong things so I will be more careful with that.

Anyway she has a very abusive family and no friends that aren't online ones so it's only me to encourage her to seek medical advice but she won't listen to me so I don't know what else to do. I can't force her :(

BobJ48
Who's fault ?

Hey Drlemur,

" She collapsed in the shower after being too weak from purging yesterday and all of this behaviour sprang from a comment I made that she took the wrong way so I feel responsible for all of it…"

When you're constantly walking on eggshells, it's easy to feel responsible it's true. So if you can, try and hold onto the fact that the fault for this lies with her eating disorder and not you. I know that you understand that on one level, but even though it's obvious, it's easy for us to find ourselves taking the blame when we shouldn't. Not matter what our partners find themselves saying to us.

"... so I feel responsible for all of it, and she's telling my friends (our mutual) as much who are furious with me and it's making me look like some kind of heartless abuser."

Well right. Except how may random people are really educated about EDs, and how many of them honestly understand what you are being put through with her ? Not many I bet. While it's our natural inclination to sympathize with our friends, and feel sorry for the fact that they have a condition, I expect if they had to spend a few days in your shoes, they'd not be so quick to condemn you.

" She refuses to see a doctor about the bleeding and I'm really worried. "

As well you should be. And really, it's not that she thinks that it's nothing, it's more that she knows that she'll be called to answer for her behaviors if she does see a doctor. Which…she knows that that's their responsibility, but at the same time, how is she going to explain to them that she can't quit ? And if she should be able to, then what might come of that ? Best just to stay away and avoid all of that. Which is kind of understandable too.

" Anyway she has a very abusive family and no friends that aren't online ones so it's only me to encourage her to seek medical advice but she won't listen to me. "

I think I know what you mean by "online friends" as I'm on some of those sites too. And while they may sympathize with her situation, I wouldn't be so sure that they aren't telling her the very same things that you are. Which might also explain some of her irritation.

" Half my problem with my girlfriend is me saying the wrong things…"

Well maybe, but maybe not. If you are saying "you should do this, and you should do that" then that may be the wrong approach. Saying things like " I can imagine that this must be concerning for you" and things of that nature are better. Like trying to put yourself in her shoes, and trying to understand her fears and frustrations, and then crafting your responses based on those understandings is the best way to go about it I think. Even if it takes some concentration and practice to begin with.

As you said though, you can't force her to go. That's a risk that she'll have to take for herself.

Because yeah, when it comes to things like this, there really are a lot of risks they'll have to take for themselves, and that's another thing you can show her you understand too.

Just some thoughts. Keep writing ?

Bob J.

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