What is Bulimia?
Bulimia is an eating disorder characterized by the eating of a large amount of food in a short space of time (binging) followed by self-induced vomiting, or excessive use of laxatives, diuretics, fasting or exercise to ‘rid’ the body of the food (purging).
People with Bulimia nervosa struggle with their binge eating disorder. They often feel that they are out of control during their binging sessions and then feel tremendous shame and guilt afterwards. It is the self-induced purging that makes them feel a release of this tension and guilt.
Characteristics of Bulimics
Unlike Anorexia Nervosa, (where the individual usually feels a sense of accomplishment and often denies having a problem), Bulimics generally feel ashamed of their binge eating disorder and know that what they are doing ‘is not normal’.
They evaluate themselves primarily on their body weight and shape, and thus often have a very poor self-esteem. Ironically, most people with Bulimia tend to be either overweight or fall within 10% of their normal body weight, and rarely attain the skinny figures that they desire and aim for.
As with other eating disorders, most Bulimics are female and the disorder tends to develop in adolescents or young women. The binge eating disorder known as Bulimia is much more prevalent in Western Societies than elsewhere in the world. This is possibly due to the common society-ideal of a slim, trim figure that is emphasized and encouraged by the media. Bulimia nervosa is a serious condition that can cause extremely severe medical consequences if left untreated. Thankfully, there are binge eating disorder treatment plans that offer help for overcoming Bulimia.
Overcoming Bulimia nervosa can be very challenging so the earlier treatment starts, the better the chances are for a positive outcome. It is important to stick to treatment and resolve underlying emotional issues to reduce the chances of relapse.