What Is Bulimia?

by Kelly Casey
(Washington, USA)

Bulimia nervosa, better known by its shorter term bulimia to most people, is an eating disorder related to a psychological aspect of coping up with emotional stressers.

The main characteristics of a person having bulimia nervosa would be described as initiating a binge eating pattern during meals, followed by a feeling of guilt and depression, and finally discarding the ingested food through vomiting it out.

Purging To Get The Guilt Out

The purpose of the sudden purging of the ingested food is to compensate and reduce the guilt feeling of taking in too much calories. Purging of bulimics may be done through ingestion of laxatives for faster expulsion of incompletely digested food, induced vomiting, or compulsive exercising.

When Binging Becomes The Escape

The act of binging uniquely identified with people diagnosed with bulimia nervosa defined as the sudden uncontrollable act of eating an abnormally large amount of food over a short period of time.

This is usually amplified as the person eats at a buffet restaurant or at a party. Usually, the feeling of an upcoming binge, according to some cases have been premeditated and planned before the actual meal.

There are considerations wherein the binging becomes so uncontrollable and worsens when extreme actions are undertaken just to compensate the sensation.

Some of these actions are secret stashing of food, bringing of food to hidden places to eat them voraciously, or even practicing improper table manners already just to be able to eat the food as fast as one could.

How To Know Bulimia Is Up And About

Occasional binge eating is not an immediate indication of bulimia as there are times when cravings are just too irresistible to let by. However, accompanying signs may suggest that there is a chance that the observed binging may be a pre-emptive signal.

One classic way of suspecting an upcoming bulimic episode would be an observed feeling of depression and resentment of taking in too much. This does not necessarily mean that anyone wishing not having to eat too much because of the discomfort would be a likely candidate. Suspicion may be heightened when the person resorts to extreme measures to allow purging.

There are times when purging may not be necessarily seen because it may be done in secret. However, the signs that result from it such as dental and gum problems, sore throat, and corroded buccal lining suggest that the person may have induced vomiting frequently

It May Happen To Anyone

Bulimia is a condition that does not specifically target an individual based on physical capability, as well as immunity to pathogens. It is more of a self occurring phenomenon that has preponderance on manifesting on people subjected to significantly stressful conditions. These conditions may have happened for a very long duration that it has established some level of insecurity within the person’s thinking.

People who develop pain, bitterness, and chronic low self esteem due to the different stressors resort to binge eating to satisfy the satiety and comfort given by the sensation of feeling full. They try to focus on this compensatory act as a means to secure themselves that everything is still alright. However, even that act rebounds to a feeling of depression and guilt and thus purging occurs.

Anyone may develop bulimia nervosa, especially those who are emotionally vulnerable and those with chronic low self esteem.

The Vicious Living Cycle

The specific start of a bulimic cycle may be hard to determine, but it is easy to diagnose its presence once the cycle of manifestations have begun. This starts with a bad emotional experience which becomes the stress, after which it continues to roll into a vicious cycle of never ending causalities. The binge causes depression and forces purging. The purging causes an insecurity to linger in the self. This insecurity is only satiated and addressed with a binge.

This never ending cycle will perpetually continue unless the individual becomes very sick so as to render the self incapable to perform daily tasks or perhaps encounter a systemic failure which may lead to sickness and eventually death.

How To Most Likely Address The Disease

A positive alternative would be to positively help the person realize what is happening and develop a sense of realization to face the factors involved in the lowering of self esteem. This may be harder than it sounds as the human brain is capable of storing so much data and reactions unique to that specific person only.

Medication being administered to these types of patients is just utilized to suppress the depression that triggers the disease process and should not be viewed as a direct treatment to address the psychological issues involved.

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Updated: November 19, 2013 — 10:32 pm

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