People with bulimia usually maintain normal body weight but they are obsessed with calories and dieting. They may appear to lead successful lives, combining challenging careers with hectic socialising; underneath they feel insecure and vulnerable. Bulimia is their “dustbin for feelings”; whenever they feel angry, sad, unsuccessful, depressed, patronised, rejected etc they resort to bingeing. This is followed by feelings of self-disgust at the amount they have eaten; they go to extreme lengths to rid their bodies of food.
People with bulimia may take large quantities of laxatives; they may harm their bodies through cutting.
They may develop other addictive patterns of behaviour eg alcol or drug. Like people with anorexia, they may also be addicted to exercise. In these ways they express discovering their secret way of coping, fearing their friends will reject them. For this reason people with bulimia may be afraid of close or permanent relationships.
Bulimia is more easily kept a secret secret than anorexia; EDA has heard from people who have had bulimia for many years without their closet family or friends knowing. However, people with bulimia are aware of their problema, they usually know the harm they are doing to their bodies and desperately want to challenge but are frightened of the consequences.
Binge-eating is similar to bulimia but this group of people do not, or can not, make themselves vomit after eating. Self-esteem and lack of confidence; they are always trying to please others but are out of touch with their own emotional needs. Many people with bulimia or binge-eating have also been through a period of anorexic; the distinction between the three illnesses may not be clear.
These problems may be resolved if a specialist or a psychologist interviens on time.