If you are at your wit's end trying to understand your college roommate who has an eating disorder, then you will be pleased to learn that there are many things you can do to make both of your lives easier. While it is important for you to realize that your roommate's disease is not your problem to handle, there are some things you can do to encourage their treatment and recovery process, including each of the following tips:
Tip: Ask Your Roommate to Seek Professional Help
If your college roommate has never had medical intervention for their unhealthy relationship with food and you suspect they have an eating disorder, then you should simply ask them to seek professional help. Let them know that you like and support them, but that you are not qualified to help with this medical problem. In reality, your roommate could already be thinking about getting help and simply suggesting they seek help might be what pushes them into their doctor's office and on the road to recovery.
Tip: Don't Get Involved in the Disorder Yourself
While you may be tempted to "help" your roommate by cooking their favorite foods, doing all of their grocery shopping, or in other ways to encourage them to have a better relationship with food, you need to keep your distance from their eating disorder. Your roommate is an adult and they need to live their own life and deal with their own disease. This may sound like harsh or uncaring advice, but the truth is that by "helping" your roommate you are actually prolonging the amount of time they live with their eating disorder before they are forced to get the professional help they need to get better.
Tip: Spend Time with Your Roommate in Non-Food Related Ways
Since you and your roommate know that they have an eating disorder and that you are not going to be codependent with their disease, find ways to spend time together in ways that have nothing to do with food. For example, if you are taking a photography course at your college, then take your roommate out with you to the local park while you shoot photos for your homework assignment. Alternatively, if you are a theater major, let your roommate know when the auditions will be held for the drama department's next play.
Ultimately, it is vital that you spend time in enjoyable ways with your college roommate and that you let them handle their medical issues with their doctor or with eating disorder center California. If their lifestyle gets in the way of your educational goals, then you should think about finding a different roommate next year.