Am I bulimic?
If you have been worrying that you may have bulimia, it is important to know that you are not alone. There is plenty of help available for people with bulimic behaviours, so it is important for you to reach out to give yourself the opportunity to recover.
We will take a look at the signs and symptoms of bulimia, and also outline the support that is available both at Priory and at other networks around the UK.
Signs of bulimia
Bulimia differs from person-to-person. People will have different eating habits and will also binge and purge more or less frequently than others.
Some typical signs include:
- You eat large amounts of food in secret, where the food is usually what you believe to be fattening
- When bingeing, you eat the food quickly without tasting it
- You can’t stop eating when you feel physically full during your binge. Instead, you continue to eat until your urge is gone, your tension is released or you are interrupted
- You feel relief from the initial tension when you start to binge, but worry about the process ahead of you
- You feel guilty both during and after the binge
- You vomit, use dietary restraint or laxatives, particularly after you have binged
- You have instant relief or feel ashamed
- You promise yourself you won’t do it again, but you can’t keep it
You may have started purging as a way to prevent you from worrying about overeating. But as time has gone on, it has become a way to manage feelings, where you get an overwhelming need to binge and purge when you feel angry, tired or lonely. You may also plan time out for bingeing and purging, and have found that you are spending more and more money on food.
Bulimia can also have an effect on your emotions. You may have found that you are more angry, irritable and frustrated than usual. You may also feel tired, depressed, anxious and inadequate.
Recovering from bulimia
People with bulimia can return to healthy eating, where they go on to live a full life even after years with the eating disorder.
The first and most important thing you have to do is accept that you need help. Knowing that you need to make a change can give you a real chance to take those first steps on your path to recovery.
Also, be honest with the people you are closest to. You will need to accept help from family, friends and professionals, all of whom want to see you get better. Surrounding yourself with positive influences can help you to stay on track towards a healthier way of life.
Bulimia needs be treated for the psychological causes and its physical effects. Contact your GP to find out the help and further treatment that is available.
You can also phone the charity Beat, who will be able to listen to you and support you throughout your journey.
At Priory, we have a large network of eating disorder facilities across the UK, with an extensive range of therapies available, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), dietary counselling, psychotherapy and family therapy. We can treat bulimia on a residential or outpatient basis, where your symptoms and circumstances will be taken into consideration when determining the right support for you.