What is Bulimia Nervosa?
Bulimia Nervosa can be characterized by a cycle of bingeing and other damaging behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, to compensate for the bingeing, over exercising, followed sometimes by purging and always by more bingeing. This disorder appears at the center of a considerable preoccupation with weight and body shape even though most people found struggling with bulimia nervosa usually are found to be of average body weight.
Similar to other eating disorders, guilt and shame are found at the center of the symptoms. People dealing with bulimia are usually overly critical about their weight and eating habits which leads to serious mental and emotional disorders. Feelings of being trapped or carrying shame about perceptions of having to constantly hide food eating habits are characteristic to how a person dealing with bulimia nervosa might suffer. Eating can sometimes seem like the only solution to these feelings where when a binge session has been complete, feelings of guilt, shame and embarrassment surface.
Behavioral Patterns Associated with Bulimia Nervosa
People suffering from bulimia nervosa are in a desperate state of confusion and desire to fulfill a perceived need. Most people will experience patterns or cycles of behavior and that can indicate that a person is dealing with bulimia. For example, people dealing with bulimia might show signs of:
- Eating in secret
- Negative comments about weight or a preoccupation with their weight
- Eating when they aren’t hungry
- Dimorphic mood (anxiety, sadness, irritability, restlessness, etc.)
- Regular use of laxatives, diuretics and diet pills
- Over exercising
- Vomiting after binging
These patterns can often lead to very noticeable symptoms whereas sometimes, symptoms go unnoticed for long periods of time. If you notice these patterns in yourself or a loved one, seek help immediately.
Bulimia Nervosa is Dangerous
Because it has been found that in most cases, people suffering from bulimia are found to be normal or slightly overweight, outside or observational detection of these illnesses or symptoms is usually more difficult and rare. Because of this, bulimia nervosa has more opportunity to go undetected which means treatment is often overlooked. This can be a dire mistake for people who are seriously dealing with an eating disorder.
Societal expectations have created a stigma that has lead to dieting and the obsession with weightless as becoming normalized, therefore, these signs are much more difficult to detect while sessions of purging or vomiting are done in private. What is worse, these stigmas and stereotypes about weight can lead medical professionals to overlook important physical and emotional symptoms of bulimia.
The emotional and mental toll that people suffering from bulimia can experience in a lot of cases leads to depression. Depression can negatively affect ones quality of life quicker than many other physical symptoms. In many cases, people experiencing depression turn to substance abuse out of desperation and in some cases thoughts of suicide. The physical complications of bulimia can be just as dangerous and can also lead to hospitalization or death in some cases. The binging and purging associated with bulimia can damage the entire digestive system to complete failure.