In Bulimia Nervosa a person becomes trapped in a cycle where they feel loss of control over their eating and then "compensate" for this perceived loss of control by trying to make up for eating through purging through exercise or other means. I am not going to elaborate on the means because even finding out about these methods tends to be contagious to young people! But if you recognize this pattern please get in touch with us right away: having a strong idea of "good foods and bad foods," feeling good about yourself when you eat in a controlled and restrictive way but feeling like a horrible person when you feel like you overeat. If you are keeping track of what you eat and then want to undo it somehow then this is bulimia. And a binge can be large or small, the definition is a perceived loss of control, so it is whatever it means to you. People with bulimia might be obsessed with finding fat or weight through measuring their bodies with a scale or through tape measure or a mirror or their hands, but all of this is a horrible trap that does not get anywhere and keeps us away from happiness, inner peace and connections with others.
Bulimia is a difficult lifestyle that comes upon someone as they struggle to be the best they can be. They end up fighting with themselves about body image and eating. Sometimes they feel like everything they do is wrong when they are trapped in this cycle! It is ironic when the person tries hard to eat appropriately and look their best. But Bulimic patterns make them feel completely out of control!
Bulimia frequently comes along with depression and anxiety that can be quite severe. It is part of a cycle of feeling really bad about ones self and we do not want you to be alone with this problem. We want to work together to find solutions. Please believe that people with bulimia recover every day and there are specific ways to break these cycles that lead to increased happiness and self-esteem. People with bulimia may have normal or restrictive eating patterns, but often may not realize they are undereating in different ways.
Perfectionism is a big risk factor for bulimia. And the hardest thing for a perfectionist to deal with is failure. Having bulimia tends to lead to a lot of feelings of struggle and it is hard to feel the success that you strive for when you have bulimia.
Bulimia tends to be an ineffective method of weight control and people with bulimia may find themselves anywhere on the weight spectrum. So the good news is that recovery will lead to higher energy and greater satisfaction with life. People find that they feel alone with their disorder, so treatment will bring better connection with others. There are some studies that showed that some people with bulimic symptoms may struggle with alcohol and drug issues or other risky behaviors, so keep in mind WE DON'T JUDGE. Whatever your eating disorder looks like we want to get to know the entire you, and help you untangle out of any and all destructive patterns.
Recovery from Bulimia needs work on both the nutritional and the emotional patterns of ones life. It is important to have a treatment team to help you figure out the eating patterns that might be keeping you stuck, as well as the emotional triggers of depression, trauma, anxiety and relationship issues that maintain bulimia. It is very fulfilling to figure out these solutions and the quality of life improves significantly when you are able to break free from these compulsive patterns.