Monday, September 17, 2018

The Signs of Bulimia and When to Get Help

This is something I haven't ever spoke about on Maria's Space. I suffered from Bulimia for 10 years.  It was something that I kept secret. I was conditioned to keep secrets and this was just another one.
Many of us struggle with our weight, and some of us may resort to more extreme methods than others. Dieting and exercising are healthy ways to lose weight, but then there are the eating disorders. Eating disorders involve someone resorting to harmful ways to lose weight, and many of them involve a distorted image on one’s body. People with eating disorders may be at a healthy weight, but are never satisfied, and may become underweight as a result.

Today, we’ll be looking at bulimia.

What is Bulimia?

Bulimia is an eating disorder that involves a cycle of bingeing and purging. First, there’s the binge stage. This will involve the person eating large quantities of food. Afterwards, they feel guilty about all the food they’ll eat and will try to purge the food from their body. When one thinks of bulimia, they may imagine the person throwing up their food. This is the most common method, but the person may purge by abusing laxatives or enemas.

Bulimia can end up causing an assortment of health effects. The people who suffer from bulimia are quite secretive, and it may be hard to see all the signs.

The Signs of Bulimia

Signs that someone may suffer from bulimia include:

  • A sudden change in mood. They may be more depressed, reclusive, or anxious.
  • An obsession over their weight.
  • Always feeling upset over their body image.
  • Hoarding food.
  • Eating so much food they feel uncomfortable.
  • Going to the bathroom immediately after a meal.
  • There may be effects from too much vomiting, including damaged teeth, going to the bathroom after a meal, scratchy voice, mouth sores, and more.
  • A bulimic person may have an excessive amount of laxatives.

If left untreated, there may be negative side effects, including:

  • Dry skin
  • Bloating
  • Heartbeat problems
  • Seizures
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Separation from friends
  • Health effects due to losing too much weight
  • Bankruptcy due to buying too much food
  • Trouble with digestion
  • Self-Harm
  • Death

The Cause

Everyone has had doubts about their physical appearance, but most don’t resort to bulimia. So what causes it? The exact cause is still out there, but it may be a combination of genetic and situational events. A large amount of stress may lead to bulimia. This does make sense, as some stressed people resort to eating to treat their stress, and bulimia does involve eating a large amount of food.

If the person has a job that requires them to have a normal weight, then they may resort to bulimia. Poor self-esteem and self-image are two obvious reasons for bulimia as well.

Some may feel powerless to change their weight through exercise and diet, and may resort to a way that’s easier for them to do. The idea may also be that they can eat whatever they want and then throw it up so they don’t gain weight.

Bulimia can affect up to one percent of the population, making it rare, but big enough to be a concern.


The best way to treat bulimia is through therapy. A psychologist can help diagnose bulimia and look into medicine, such as antidepressants, to treat it. In addition, a therapist can help the person rethink their body image, and look for healthier ways to maintain an ideal weight. If you are having weight issues, talk to a therapist today. You can look for one in your area, or look into online therapy sites such as BetterHelp to give you the help you need. 

Marie Miguel Biography

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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