Bulimia is not what you think
It’s not uncommon for people to really misunderstand eating and body dysmorphic disorders. In all honesty, it confusion kinda makes sense. Food is necessary for survival. Why would anyone purge themselves of a perfectly good meal when there are starving people in the world, right? A slim figure is considered ideal and something to sacrifice for in order to achieve it, right? Avoiding food makes sense and it’s what were supposed to do… right? Do you see the contradiction here? This is mixed-messaging at it’s finest. How we balance these social cues and norms can take quite a toll on our psyche. But not only that, there is so much more to an eating disorder than meeting a perceived standard of beauty. There is the sense of control that many with bulimia feel when they regulate their food. It may sound odd but think about it this way, people seek out drugs in order to gain a sense of control over their mental state so they can dictate how they feel in a given moment. Well, with bulimia and other eating disorders they can experience the same thing, except they use food and not meth or heroine.
What is bulimia
Bulimia can be described the following way according to the National Library of Medicine
Bulimia is an eating disorder in which a person has regular episodes of eating a very large amount of food (bingeing) during which the person feels a loss of control over eating. The person then uses different ways, such as vomiting or laxatives (purging), to prevent weight gain.
Many people with bulimia also have anorexia.
Many more women than men have bulimia. The disorder is most common in teenage girls and young women. The person usually knows that her eating pattern is abnormal. She may feel fear or guilt with the binge-purge episodes.
The exact cause of bulimia is unknown. Genetic, psychological, family, society, or cultural factors may play a role. Bulimia is likely due to more than one factor.
With bulimia, eating binges may occur as often as several times a day for many months. The person often eats large amounts of high-calorie foods, usually in secret. During these episodes, the person feels a lack of control over the eating.
Binges lead to self-disgust, which causes purging to prevent weight gain. Purging may include:
- Forcing oneself to vomit
- Excessive exercise
- Using laxatives, enemas, or diuretics (water pills)
Purging often brings a sense of relief.
People with bulimia are often at a normal weight, but they may see themselves as being overweight. Because the person’s weight is often normal, other people may not notice this eating disorder.
Symptoms that other people can see include:
- Spending a lot of time exercising
- Suddenly eating large amounts of food or buying large amounts of food that disappear right away
- Regularly going to the bathroom right after meals
- Throwing away packages of laxatives, diet pills, emetics (drugs that cause vomiting), or diuretics
Click here for more information about bulimia and read the full Mayo Clinic article.
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