“Thin is in.” The desire to have a thin and trim body has influenced millions of Americans to diet. They read magazine articles about dieting, buy diet books, go to diet doctors, join diet programs and count calories so they can lose weight and have thin bodies.
Others, usually young women, find a “better” way to lose weight. The pursuit of being thin becomes an obsession that begins when she breaks her diet. She is overcome with guilt and has the idea of “getting rid of the bad food” by vomiting or using laxatives. At first this approach seems to work and she discovers that she can eat almost anything and as much as she wants. She only has to get rid of the “bad food” when she is done eating.
This behavior can continue for an extended period, occurring occasionally or frequently. The binges may get closer to each other and happen when she is feeling “down,” upset, stressed or disturbed. The eating behavior helps to fill an emotional need and the purging behavior helps to avert the physical consequences of eating.
The bulimic knows that her behavior is abnormal, but find that she cannot stop. Her binge-purge behaviors have become an addiction. She begins to plan her binges. She steals food from family or roommates. Binges – and planning them – begin to occupy her time. Other addictions, such as alcohol and other drugs, may also arise.
Because of their addictions, some bulimics experience financial problems. It takes money to buy the food needed to binge. Family, friends and social relationships recede in importance. Binging becomes all-consuming. The bulimic hides her binges – often quite cleverly.
This brief epub provides "need to know" information about how to identify, cope with and treat bulimia nervosa.
At some point, however, family and friends take notice and become concerned. Maybe it is the food disappearing, or the money or regularly excusing herself after meals – and they are right to be concerned. This disease poses potential health problems and can be life threatening.