Bulimia Nervosa is a psychological
disease which is characterised by binge-eating, feelings of guilt
and then self-inflicted purging, by vomiting or using laxatives or
Bulimia is often very hard to identify, as it is
easily hidden, and bulimics can seem to have a normal weight, to be
overweight or underweight - although they usually know themselves
that they have an eating disorder.
Recognising the Symptoms
Many symptoms of bulimia are similar
to those of anorexia, but bulimics feel totally out of control of
their eating, while anorexics feel in control of their
Bulimics can eat like everyone else, or binge, and
then they will vomit or use laxatives or diuretics. Most people
experience an eating binge from time to time, the difference is
that bulimics will binge more than twice a week.They will also eat
large amounts of food very quickly, or almost constantly snack.
They tend to do their binge eating in secret.
Bulimics are often fairly passive and non-assertive,
craving approval. They often have a busy social life.
With counselling and treatment, most
people with bulimia nervosa recover completely. They can learn ways
of expressing their needs in ways that don't involve food. Bullimia
is deemed more likely in women who work in fields where their
weight is relevant to their work, such as ballet, acting and
Treatment for eating disorders may encompass:
- Behaviour Modification: a system of
rewards and incentives to change behaviour, often requiring the
sufferer to record food intake and associated feelings.
- Psychotherapy: individually or in
groups. Through psychotherapy, people are helped to correct their
concepts of body-image and to develop positive self-seteem which
enables the lessening of feelings of inadequacy and
- Education: dietitians or
nutritionalists may assist in the retraining of healthy eating
- Family Therapy: the family as a unit,
is encouraged to develop ways to cope with the