Living With a Roommate Who Has Binge Eating Disorder

Children binge eating and working to overcome

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Sharing a living space with a roommate comes with many pros and cons, and learning to adapt to another individual’s ways of living, behaviors and habits can be a challenging feat. What if your roommate has binge eating disorder?

How might this impact and affect your relationship with your roommate and your living situation? On the surface level, binge eating disorder might present with unusual eating habits that may cause you to question your roommate’s willpower or lack of control.

Various circumstances may also create tension between you and your roommate in the event that binge eating disorder is present. For example, you may have had issues with food disappearing or have caught your roommate sneaking or hoarding your personal food items.

Perhaps you frequently find food wrappers and messes around your apartment that negatively impact your living conditions and surroundings. Whatever the scenario may be, having a roommate with binge eating disorder can be challenging, whether your roommate is forthcoming about their struggles or not.

Start the Conversation

In any situation, open and sincere communication can help break many misunderstandings and help diffuse any tensions that may be developing between you and your roommate. If you have observed some behaviors that are bothersome towards you or that negatively impact you, do not hold these things to yourself.

life-863037_1280This can result in the building of resentment towards your roommate, which can only worsen the situation. Find an appropriate time and place where you can both sit down and discuss your concerns and needs.

Because eating disorders are especially complex, be sure to convey your feelings in a tactful way that expresses care and concern rather than judgement. If you find yourself unable to hold a productive conversation, considering involving a third party, such as a mutual friend or trusted mentor.

Remember that binge eating disorder is in fact a mental illness, and your roommate likely needs help and resources for recovery and to become well again. Coming from a place of concern can help your roommate identify some of the struggles they may be personally facing and encourage them to get the help they need to recovery.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

How would you approach a roommate who was struggling with binge eating disorder?

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Crystal Karges

Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 3, 2015
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About Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC

Jacquelyn Ekern founded Eating Disorder Hope in 2005, driven by a profound desire to help those struggling with anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorder. This passion resulted from her battle with, and recovery from, an eating disorder. As president, Jacquelyn manages Ekern Enterprises, Inc. and the Eating Disorder Hope website.