Bulimia Nervosa

Most of those suffering from Bulimia have a weight that stays approximately the same, making it less obvious as it is not so visibly noticeable, meaning that people are less likely to notice the illness or offer help unless you ask for it.  This can make it hard to ask for support even when you really want to get better.

Signs of Bulimia can include: A feeling of being compelled to eat large amounts of food, eating in binges or large quantities in one go, starving yourself after eating, making yourself vomit (purging) or using laxatives, thinking constantly about eating and planning of how to do so, eating in secret, thinking of yourself as fat and hiding your bulimia from those around you (binging and purging in secret).  Bulimics need only binge and purge once a month to be classed as an Eating Disorder.

Health effects of using laxatives in Bulimia can include a stretched colon, constipation, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, as they deprive your body of vital minerals.  Frequent vomiting may cause epileptic fits, muscle weakness and heart problems and poor skin may develop due to dehydration.  Rotten teeth can be caused by the stomach acids eroding tooth enamel and menstrual periods can become irregular or stop altogether.

It is interesting to note that laxatives don’t actually help with weight loss, being sick gets rid of less than half the calories eaten, diuretic drugs have not effect on the amount of calories absorbed by the body and although a flat stomach may be a temporary benefit, it will soon return to normal when fluid levels rise again.

 

Help written on sand of a tropical beach

 

Eating Disorders

An eating disorder can develop when normal eating habits become affected by stress, pressure or feelings of low self-esteem and feelings of not being good enough. During times of stress you may develop a craving for a particular food such as chocolate, loss your appetite, eat more for comfort or become unable to eat at all. Although this can occur for most people at times, usual eating habits return once the difficulties have passed.

However when you continue to eat too much or too little, you may be in danger of developing an eating disorder. Food can become increasingly important in your life until in some cases it becomes the most important thing. You may deny yourself food, even when hungry, or you may binge eat, you may be obsessive about your weight and about how you look. Food becomes a type of addiction affecting your life in a very negative way. Eating problems are not just about the food, the eating or starving, it is about being unable to process and deal with difficult problems and painful feelings, which may be difficult to express or face.

Often the beginning of an eating problem can be linked to a stressful occurrence or trauma such as mental, physical or sexual abuse, bullying at school, the death of a loved one or parental divorce. TV, magazines and other media images have also been dominating people’s lives, creating unreal images of what the ‘perfect’ body should look like, in turn creating the need in some to conform to an idea of perfection and change the way they look to ‘fit in’ with so called normal life.

 

Denial

Denial is one of the most common areas of all Eating Disorders, yet is unfortunately one of the hardest areas for intervention. Denial for people that suffer with any extreme disordered food behaviours, becomes a lie, that becomes their reality. The secret that generates this behaviour helps the individual to protect themselves not to appear as a liar. Possible examples are:

• Someone suffering from Anorexia Nervosa may say, convincingly, that they have already eaten or that they will eat later, or they may eat a meal in front of someone but use compensatory behaviours afterwards to ‘control’ their emotions and the disease (e.g. purging, exercising, starvation etc).
• Someone suffering from Binge Eating Disorder may convince themselves that they are not over-eating by emotionally and psychologically cutting off their reality once they have eaten (e.g. they state and believe they have only eaten two meals today, but forget that they spent most of the night in and out of the fridge).
• Someone suffering from Bulimia may convince themselves that it is normal behaviour to binge and purge as long as other people don’t find out.

Like any addiction or Eating Disorder the illness itself is a symptom that helps to preoccupy someone from the real way that they feel and their life experiences, allowing whatever relationship with food they have, reduce or take way the real fears, hurts, anxieties and pain. Ironically though, this preoccupation with the Eating Disorder behaviour, in the long term, causes a person a different and possibly higher level of internal and external pain.

 

Cortijo Care are here to help.

Treatment at Cortijo Care is set up to help anyone suffering from Bulimia Nervosa.

Our 24 Hour Acute programme is there to help those suffering from Bulimia; Our Rehabilitation programme then treats the psychological issues surrounding the eating disorder, enabling clients to learn how to cope with life without the need to purge, getting to the root of the whys and wherefores of the eating disorder and learning how to handle emotions and anxieties in a safe place.

Please call us for a no obligation chat on (+34) 952 780 181 about how we can help you or your family member or friend, or complete the contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.