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My family and friends have recently discovered that I am bulimic.  My mum took me to see my doctor, who has referred me to a counselor.  My mum wants to be present at these sessions as she feels my bulimia is her fault, but I don’t feel comfortable talking about it with her, let alone in front of her.  I don’t want her to know the reasons why I do it.  I have pushed myself away from my friends and have no one to talk to, and due to my extreme mood changes I have attempted suicide several times.  I don’t have the worst life, but I just don’t know how to sort things out.  Help me please? 


Dear Emi,

Well done for recognizing that you’ve developed a problematic habit!  You can overcome it and work out how to address the emotional difficulties which led you to those self-destructive behaviors.  That way you won’t need to adopt bulimic behaviors or suicidal thoughts anymore because you’ll have learned good emotional management techniques that help you feel better about yourself and other people and your life.

Of course your mum cares about you and so feels guilty and responsible for your choices.  But you’re not responsible for her problems, though your behavior will have some impact on her as well as on yourself. Please be aware that bulimia isn’t some germ that swoops in from outer space.  It’s a pattern of beliefs, thinking, feeling and behaving which you have developed.  A set of habits which are intended to have a positive outcome but actually have painful consequences - but you can change the habits as you find more constructive ways of achieving your goals.