Bulimia nervosa is a distressing eating disorder.
Bulimia involves certain behaviours. These behaviours including constantly thinking and obsessing about food. Binging on large portions of food. Purging the body of this food, by forcing vomiting, or taking laxatives.
It’s thought to be more common than anorexia. Sufferers are more likely to maintain their weight, or just be mildly underweight. For this reason it’s harder to spot, although easier to spot in younger adolescents who are still at home. However, once a sufferer has left home, their behaviour can remain hidden and unnoticed for years.
I’ve worked with clients who have had bulimia for over 30 years and I’ve never yet come across a happy bulimic. It appears to be an unhappy existence.
There are a series of longer term health issues associated with bulimia, and that seems to be one of the reasons sufferers eventually seek help. They are afraid that they are harming their health in so many ways, and over the longer term they run that risk. Female sufferers are likely to develop irregular periods that can lead to infertility issues. Some women with bulimia state that they don’t want to have children. Being pregnant and being bulimic don’t fit together very well.
If bulimia is dealt with during adolescent, then there generally can be more support available. Support is not just therapy. The support of close family is equally important, who can keep a close eye on behaviours and tackle them straight away If it’s left unnoticed, and untreated and continues for an extended length of time, then support isn’t as accessible.
Some of the clients I’ve worked with have had bulimia for decades. This behaviour becomes so deeply embedded in the unconscious brain, that conscious effort and willpower just isn’t enough to shift it.
Its not always easy or quick working with this type of eating disorder, it depends on various factors. There is something really special about how well, bulimia responds to hypnosis and some of the techniques I use, and can literally disappear over night when certain conditions are met.
Read this BBC link about how talking therapies especially CBT can help with eating disorders.
By Sarah Jons