- Bulimia is an eating disorder characterized by eating
large amounts of food or a normal size meal, and a need to eliminate
what has been consumed. Most frequently, a bulimic will "binge"
on a large amount of food and vomit to "purge" the body
of the caloric intake. Other forms of bulimia include the need to
"purge" through exercise, starving for days following a
binge, using Ipecac to induce vomiting, and the use of laxatives and
diuretics to "purge" food and water.
A person with bulimia can be self-indulgent and have a difficult
time delaying gratification in many areas. They can be secretive
and dishonest by lying, stealing food and money. There may be dental
damage, intestinal disorders, stomach problems, and frequently a
drug or alcohol problem. Repeated vomiting causes mood swings due
to a chemical imbalance from purging. Bulimics feel very isolated.
DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA OF BULIMIA NERVOSA
eating, twice a week (average) for 3 months.
after binges, including guilt, shame, and/or physical distress.
after binges by purging (vomiting, laxatives, and diuretics)
exercising, or fasting.
disturbance exhibited by a fear of fatness and perceived distortion
of the body.
is Anorexia Nervosa?
- Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by a
very rapid loss of weight, an abnormal fear and/or fascination with
food and an obsession with body size and weight. Anorexia also incorporates
low self-esteem. There is a great misperception of body size, of hunger,
satiety, and other bodily sensations. They are often overachievers,
compliant, and exhibit unusual amounts of anxiety, causing difficulty
in decision-making. An anorexic will often want to cook and control
others' eating while restricting their food intake. The person may
isolate more and more by eating alone, by being moody and/or hostile.
If the isolation is mentioned by family or friends, the anorexic may
isolate even more.
DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA OF ANOREXIA NERVOSA
self-indulged weight loss (to less than 85% normal) or failure
to gain normally, so result is less than 85% of healthy growth.
(morbid) fear of fatness coupled with an /intense drive for thinness.
image distortion and excessive reliance on weight or shape for
loss of menses, for 3 months in females or decreased sexual drive
Should I Do if I Think Someone I Know Has an Eating Disorder?
Follow these steps from the National
Eating Disorders Association:
Set a time to talk. Set aside a time to privately talk about your concerns
with your friend. Be open and honest. Make sure you talk in a place away
Tell your friend about your concerns. Tell your friend about specific
times when you were worried about her eating or exercise behaviors. Explain
that you think these things may show a problem that needs professional
Ask your friend talk about these concerns. She could talk to a counselor
or doctor who knows about eating issues. If you feel comfortable, offer
to help your friend make an appointment or go with her to her appointment.
Avoid conflicts or a battle of the wills with your friend. If your friend
doesnt admit to a problem, repeat your feelings and the reasons
for them. Be a supportive listener.
Dont place shame, blame, or guilt on your friend. Do not use accusatory
you statements like, You just need to eat. Or,
You are acting irresponsibly. Instead, use I statements
like, Im concerned about you because you refuse to eat breakfast
or lunch. Or, It makes me afraid to hear you vomiting.
Avoid giving simple solutions. Dont say, "If you'd just stop,
then everything would be fine!"
Express your continued support. Remind your friend that you care and want
her to be healthy and happy.
Informational for Bulimia & Anorexia Resources
- Information Resources:
Eating Disorders Association
Eating Disorder Referral &
- Recovery Resources:
Sober Living by the Sea
Sunrise Recovery Ranch
Drug & Alcohol Recovery
Treatment Center Directory
The Reach Foundation
Recovery Resources Online
to Multiple Other Sites & Services
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