Bulimia. Medical framework

Psychology and psychiatry are reclaiming a problem, which has been thought, until now, to belong to any other medical field, except that reserved for the human psyche.

Bulimia nervosa was thought to be a digestive disorder characterized by recurrent overeating followed by compensatory behavior (self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives, enemas, diuretics).

The addiction manifested by the food-eating cycle, called bulimia, is a psychological imbalance affecting mostly young women. After ingesting a large quantity of food, often hypercaloric, it is immediately force-fed. The triggering factor is the fear of getting fat.

Like depression or anxiety, bulimia is a consequence of the control and reverberations of the psyche in the human body. Thus, emotions subdue our happiness or unhappiness, and, more recently, our size.

The body is powerless when we face bulimia. Dieting or going to the gym are ineffective, even useless, methods if there is no emotional control and if what is being treated is not the emotion and mental disorders.

It is only by working on the psyche that the problems of bulimia are solved. Therefore, if you are gaining weight, excessively, and movement or dieting is not working, it means that your eating disorders are caused by the way you manage your emotions, your social relationships, your way of thinking, so the Great Psyche.

As ridiculous as it sounds, pessimism and negativity feed anxiety and depression, and in turn bulimia.

What we think of as types of body weight control: self-induced vomiting, harsh diets, excess laxatives or sports are just the mirror image of some of our psyche’s inadequacies, negativity, fears, anxieties, remorse.

People suffering from bulimia say that when they vomit, they feel liberated, like from a weed that invaded every part of their body. In fact, negative emotions and many other psychological habits are eliminated by making an appeal to the physical body.

And all this trauma of the body for which the psyche alone is responsible is called bulimia nervosa, or simply bulimia.

Symptoms preceding bulimia nervosa

First of all, it should be known that bulimia is a mental disorder.

Next, it is an eating disorder. The attitude preceding the actual symptoms of bulimia has specific characteristics. The person suspected of bulimia is on a drastic weight loss diet, is always worried about the number of calories consumed, is concerned about body shape and changes, and an endless fear of gaining weight fills her thoughts. In addition, she will always ask members of her social circle if they have noticed any changes, for the worse, in her figure.

Actual symptoms of bulimia

Compulsive eating is the first clue. Eating a lot because eating frees the psyche from negative emotions.

The person concerned will be aware that they are losing control over their eating, but at the same time they will be aware that their power is limited in this regard.

She will self-suggest that she has a solution, resorting to compensatory behaviors: self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise, laxatives, slimming teas, diuretic teas, enemas, etc.

Compulsive eating and compensatory behaviors are intensely felt at a psychological level as disinhibition. This suppresses strong emotions such as nervousness, frustration, sadness, anxiety and depression.

The phenomenon occurs as follows: we are anxious, we start overeating, we are aware that we are overeating, but we do not stop, but we have compensatory behavior, telling ourselves that all the accumulated calories can be eliminated. And this is where the transformations begin.

Calories are not eliminated. The predisposition to compulsive eating will not end. Nor do we free ourselves from the mental trauma. We sink into food and anxiety much more.

Of course, this attitude is our great mystery. We hide. We cower. We think we are in control of our eating habits. Big trap! Our psyche is an insular structure. Self-contained. And deceptive. We are not in control of our psyche, but the other way around. Harmony and balance in the spirit is necessary for the psyche to be “satisfied”. But it is not in anyone’s power to achieve this mastery. That is why we end up with a psychologist or psychiatrist.

The effects of bulimia in our system

Compensatory behaviors can be devastating to our body. Induced vomiting, laxatives, diuretic teas can even be lethal. Induced vomiting causes a hydro-electrolyte imbalance that can cause death. Other side effects:

  • cardiac arrhythmia

  • baldness

  • acute dehydration

  • abdominal cramps

  • severe disturbances of intestinal transit (severe constipation or diarrhea)

  • irreparable destruction of tooth enamel caused by stomach acid during self-induced vomiting.

  • salivary gland augmentation

  • irregularity or total absence of the menstrual cycle,

What to do in bulimia?

The person suffering from an eating disorder will deny the existence of this problem. Although many sufferers are aware of this problem, they find it difficult to accept the fact that they have such a problem and, even more so, that they no longer have control over their body and, above all, their psyche.

Whoever wants to help a person suffering from bulimia will be open and supportive and remove from the discussion any word or idea that leads to blame for the occurrence of bulimia.

Blame and all its connotations must be removed because it will sink the sufferer further into compensatory behavior to eliminate as quickly as possible the shameful, “guilty” situation for their discomfort and that of those who want to help them.

The sufferer’s will for treatment must be stimulated by the image of a future in which this problem will no longer cause discomfort to the person directly involved. Nor to those close to it. A future in which negativity will be eliminated without excess food and all self-induced trauma. A future in which the silhouette will no longer be “painful” either.

The first thing to stop is compensatory behavior, so self-induced vomiting and all those drastic ways of losing weight. A very difficult step to take. It usually leads to specialist help and treatment.

When does bulimia start to be worrying?

When the person in question:

  • avoids family meals, meals out with friends and any other social activity that involves eating.

  • is very concerned about the amount of fat and calories in food, eats only salads or nothing at all, saying they are not hungry, drinks a lot of water before, during or after meals

  • frequently uses the toilet before and after meals

  • her discussions touch directly or indirectly on the issue of weight and calories, she is interested in the weight of others around her, in possible diets, she is obsessively interested in size.

  • has red or watery eyes, especially after using the toilet

  • has the appearance of a cold person (sneezes, coughs)

  • refuses social settings, meetings with friends

  • is dieting without being overweight

  • exercises excessively, even though she is not keen on sports

  • is depressed and anxious, always tired, even though she does not exert herself

  • has no hobbies, nothing she used to do is fun any more

  • constipation, bloating, abdominal pain, headaches, uses laxatives.

If people around you notice these signs, you should persuade them to see a psychiatrist immediately.

The diagnosis of bulimia can be made by the dentist if he or she observes irreparable destruction of tooth enamel caused by stomach acid during self-induced vomiting.

It is the psychiatrist who recommends drug treatment or psychotherapy for bulimia.

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