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BULIMIA SYMPTOMS

 

How does a person with bulimia nervosa differ from a normal eater?

  • Most people worry about their weight and wish to be thinner but for the person with bulimia these feelings are intense and obsessional. Weight control may be the most important thing in their lives
  • Most people overeat at times or believe that they do, and they may go on all sorts of diets or do other things to try and control their weight. A diagnosis of bulimia nervosa will only follow analysis of the "big picture" including professional assessment of behaviours which are being used to control weight gain

How does it feel to be bulimic?

  • People may feel some or all of the following
  • Constant thoughts about food - how to avoid eating it, how to get a binge food, how to get people out of the way so that they can overeat, thoughts and images about food which lead to fear and distress
  • Constant thoughts about weight, feeling fat and ugly. Often purging will help someone to feel instantly thin even though in reality they are not
  • A sense of fear and foreboding, uncertainty and anxiety about everyday food occasions that other people can deal with - such as going to restaurants or social occasions
  • You may find that you can eat normally in public , only for this control to break down when you are alone
  • Food feeing like a constant threat, both a friend and a foe, having to be constantly vigilant, not knowing when you have had "one bite too many" and will have to get rid of it
  • A sense of being different from others, carrying a guilty secret around with you
  • Feeling lonely, different and insane
  • Some people describe bingeing as if they have been taken over and possessed by someone else not even remembering all that they have eaten
  • Bingeing and purging changes your mood, you may find unbearable tension before binge purging, and may be sleepy and calm or elated afterwards as if you can "get on with things"
  • Bulimic behaviour being something you have to do ritually and get over with just to feel normal
  • Feeling angry and stupid that you can't stop letting yourself down over and over again
  • A sense of life being a constant struggle
  • Guilt and shame about all the behaviour that supports bulimic behaviour, such as spending too much money, wasting food, stealing money or taking food from other people's food supplies
  • To someone without bulimia trying to resist purging would feel as if you had knowingly eaten poisoned food that would slowly rot you from the inside, and your life depended on getting it out of you

Bulimia Nervosa - what it isn't

  • It is not a mental illness or a sign that you are disturbed
  • A personal weakness
  • Insanity
  • An addiction (although it feels as if it is - it must not be confused with alcoholism, drug taking, or compulsive gambling)
  • Something that cannot be treated

 

The NCFED offers a gentle, personalised treatment programme for bulimia nervosa. We have 20 years experience of working with bulimia and have guided thousands of people into recovery and a normal, happy life. For more information on the National Centre For Eating Disorders' unique treatment programme click here. To book an assessment with one of our counsellors click here.

Workshops are a great way to make fast changes with people who understand and support you. The NCFED regularly runs successful eating disorder workshops and group therapy programmes. Please click here for further details.

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