Bulimia

Question:

Please describe your experience with bulimia. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: 13-18 Female Published: November 25

I'm 14 and I have suffered with bulimia since I was 12. It was a competition who looks the best and to get your figure looking like the models in the magazines, as soon as I ate anything I would run upstairs and make myself sick and exercise in my room for hours. When I turned 14, I thought I was over making myself sick and I didn't care what people thought of me. But recently, a boy has made me feel like I wasn't good enough for him and he would only go for other prettier skinnier girls. Because of this, I didn't eat for 3 days. Then I started to make myself sick again. I had to force myself to eat and wish I didn't feel the way I do. I wish I never started this, and I want to tell you guys if you are thinking about making yourself sick or wanting to stop eating just so you can look like others, DON'T! It's like an addiction and you're probably already beautiful anyway.

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 17

I have been struggling with bulimia and many other eating disorder behaviors for 15 years. I came very close to dying. I recieved intensive outpatient treatment. 6 weeks Monday through Friday for 5 hours. I'm now seeing a therapist, psychiatrist and a nutritionist, and I still can not get a handle on my behaviors. I'm urging anyone who might be struggling with an eating disorder to get help. The longer you go, the harder it is. If you worry about a loved one don't sit back. Help without judgment. Educate yourself about eating disorders and know that it's not about the food or weight. There are always other underlying issues.

Comment from: Aviva, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 28

I am an x-patient of bulimia. I was bulimic from 1975 to 1980, and finished my bout of bulimia on Election Day, November, 1980. I am very proud until this day, that I was able to stop with the bulimia, and didn't even need any medicine to be rid of my bulimia. As a matter of fact there wasn't any medicine for bulimia at the time, except for medicine for depression.

Comment from: Kay, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

Bulimia is such a scary disorder, which not only messes with your normal body functions, but it certainly slows down your brain process and gets you in a very dark and lonely mental state. I have been struggling with it for the past 4 years now and I can't see or seek my way out. I am 21 now and feel like I'm slowly deteriorating and drowning and loosing in my constant battle with this much hated disease. My best friend has triggered the start of it, offering to buy a lot of food, not put any weight on and not feel guilty of eating it by simply throwing it all up. At the time the idea seemed utterly crazy, but I got on a hook and went with it. After purging the massive Chinese takeout out, I felt good, because my taste buds were satisfied and I could suck my tummy in and feel my ribs. I know it must sound nuts, but I did and still do love the feeling. That experience has led to once or twice a week purging, which now has ended up to every day after almost every meal. I loathe myself and the state that I got myself into. When I am with my friends I put up a happy front and if I knew me, I'd never guess I'm so disturbed inside. I have only shared with 2 other people, but just because I knew we shared the same problem, unfortunately they both don't live in the UK, so a lot of time I feel so left out and see the world in a very grey colour. I just wish and dream to beat this demon of mine. I wish I never have been influenced by a “friend” of mine. I have to find a way out, and damn well make sure I will. I have to start living, experiencing, enjoying and in fact starting my life again. I want to feel and breathe free and not be scared of, but enjoy eating. Now I need to find a cure. Easier said than done, but please girls, guys, don't sacrifice your life and existence by giving in to bulimia.

Comment from: Emma, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: December 03

I am 16 years old. I have had bulimia for 6 years. It started when my parents were going through a divorce. I found it really hard to cope and talk to my parents about it. The only thing that made me feel better was to eat a lot. Once I I'd eaten I felt so guilty and sad that I would throw up. As I got older it wasn't about my parents but more about my body. 13 was a point in my life in which I felt very self conscious about my body. After that I became more aware through the media that everyone wanted to be skinnier. I thought that this was normal and for a quick way of losing pounds was to be sick on a number of occasions during the day. It felt and I suppose still feels great to know that I could eat whatever I wanted and not have to worry about calorie intake. My parents didn't find out until last year when they found me in the bathroom being sick. At this time I was a 15 year old girl who weighed 6 stone. I tried to hide my weight by wearing extra layers but it was on that day when my parents found me that I was admitted to hospital. I had tubes going into me and a heart rate monitor. I screamed and screamed. I hated the idea of having food injected into me. It scared me. After a couple of months I gained a stone and am gradually putting more weight on. If I hadn't been for my mum finding me that day, I don't know what would have happened to me. If anyone is thinking of doing anything like this, THINK again. Your teenage years are meant to be enjoyed. All I can say about mine so far is that I am slowly struggling with an eating disorder that doctors have told me I will always have. I will always have a problem with food.

Comment from: Stellaluna, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 22

I started to gain weight and then returned to my eating disorder behaviors. I attend a group meeting to discuss my eating disorder but I never really talk about the eating (binging and purging ) because for me; I realize that that's not all its about. It's about the underlying issues of what happened in my childhood to cause the behaviors as well as recognizing what triggers me and causes the behaviors to occur now in my adult life...

Comment from: ag, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 19

I am bulimic. I starter right after my first baby was born. I liked my body the way it was before my baby and I wanted to keep it that way. I purged every day before I went to sleep, and thought I had it under control. I stopped after I got pregnant the second time, but then went back. I feel I am being selfish because my kids need me and I don't want to get keep this disease until it makes me sick. I don't want to tell anybody because I have always being the "perfect" one in my family and I am terrified that someone would know. I just feel like it is getting out of control and I don't think I can stop by myself. I would advise anyone who is starting purging to lose weight or thinking about it not to do it because it would end up consuming you. I have been hospitalized once and no one knows that I caused that with my eating disorder. I have feelings of guilt and shame every day knowing that everyone looks up to me as a role model without knowing that I am far from being a good example to anyone.

Comment from: lynne, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: December 21

I'm 16 and I've been bulimic for 3 years. It started out as not eating and exercising like crazy because I hated throwing up, but I found that making myself sick made me lose weight quicker and it made me feel amazing. I did it everyday at least 3 or 4 times daily. I felt amazing when I was losing 2 or 3 maybe even 4 pounds a day and then seeing the weight pour off me. I've been in therapy for it so I've slowed down but it's still a part of me and it always will be. Every now and then I go back to my bulimic ways but it's no where near as serious as it was before. If anyone is thinking about resorting to this please listen...it's not fun. It's like a demon that takes over your mind and you become obsessed. I would never wish this pain on anyone. Plus, after throwing up so long my teeth enamel has worn away and I have really bad acid reflux now and I have heart problems. I don't think anyone would want that. Just please trust me when I say it's not a good idea.

Comment from: Lady500, 13-18 Female Published: September 17

I'm 17 and I've been making myself throw up on a daily basis for about a year. But I only do it once a day.

Comment from: Jamiej, 45-54 Female Published: September 11

I first started throwing up when I was 13; I quit during my pregnancies and began after the babies were born. I tried controlling my eating behaviors through many diets and exercise. None of these things helped me for any long periods of time because I would once again lose it. I got a divorce, met a man that told me he didn't need me to stay skinny for him and he didn't want me doing this to myself. I quit throwing up, but the pattern of over-eating is so impulsive I could quit over-eating. I keep trying different diets and occasional exercises only to fail time after time and binge eat again. It seems to be the only thing that makes my brain happy. I don't throw up anymore, but I still have the seemingly uncontrollable impulse to binge eat. I am now in my later 40's and I am mildly obese. I can see myself becoming worse over the years. I have been on many different anti-depressants over the years. They say that these can help, but they don't seem to have helped me stop the impulses that go on in my brain. I don't see anything stopping this roller coaster. Please listen to me girls and ladies alike. The mental problem this causes is just as bad as or worse than any of the physical problems. Please don't start it.

Comment from: 13-18 Female Published: September 11

I am 18 years old and have been bulimic for almost 9 years. I have always struggled with it but for the past year it has completely taken over my life. I am 5'6 and used to weigh about 130. I lost 18 pounds in three weeks. That was easy I just had to buckle down and throw up after every meal. Then I got to my lowest point of 107 by throwing up and using laxatives. I was extremely unhealthy and kept fainting and having chest pain. I am still extremely unhealthy no one knows I am bulimic my mom takes me to the doctor on a regular basis because she doesn't understand what is happening to me she would never think that I am bulimic even though eating disorders run in my family. My poor boyfriend of a year and a half is so worried about my health. He always jokes around that I'm bulimic I think he knows, but he doesn't know how serious it is. I don't know how to get help and I don't know if I want it because I like being skinny. I need help my body is slowly dying and I don't know what to do.

Comment from: ale90, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

Hi! I'm a 15 year-old who has been doing this for about a month. I have already lost 10 pounds. I know it's not good for me, and I plan on quitting VERY soon. I know everyone says this. I know that quitting is the “trick”. I have been bullied by a 6th grader about being overweight, even though I'm only 130 lbs. Most people only said these things to be me and stupid, and even though it gets to me, I'm strong and I'm worth more than that. It's hard to be 15, and I know that people are only mean to me because people are mean to them. The best revenge would be for me to completely happy while they're miserable.

Comment from: greek girl, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: November 09

I am 16 years old and at 13 I became anorexic with binging and purging. I was in the hospital for a long time. I had to move far away from my home to go live at the hospital. It wasn't fun. I am now an outpatient and still struggling with some issues with food. I will never like myself. Never accept how I look. I strongly advise if you know someone with an eating disorder, get them help as soon as possible before it becomes too late and you lose everything. I was in an abusive relationship. My closest family member had just died in a car accident. I needed to disappear. I purged on average 50 times a day, and exercised 4 hours a day. I almost died. And I'm telling my story to help others realized the severity of an eating disorder. It starts with 1 purge, but leads to many different issues. Don't wait to ask them. Don't wait to get help.

Comment from: twin mama, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 09

I have been eating and making myself sick for 12 years. I have good and bad days but my bad days are getting worse. On a bad day I am sick about 20 to 30 times. I think I need help.

Comment from: laura, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: November 06

I am 15 and I am bulimic. I vomit after meals because I simply don't want to get fat. I should probably get some help for my condition before it gets out of hand. I really need to talk to my mom or someone at school.

Comment from: chaparra, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 30

I have a problem when it comes to junk food. Or as I should say unhealthy foods. Whenever I eat a cookie, slice of pizza or anything that makes me think that it will make me gain weight, I would over eat that food and then when I get home I purge. I don't know why - whenever I see junk food, it makes me think that I can eat it because I'm going to purge it anyway. I just wish I didn't have this feeling at all.

Comment from: Yur.Not.Alone.x, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: October 27

I was bullied in school - called fat etc. It really got me down and I didn't feel in control, so I thought making myself sick and getting rid of food (weight) to put myself back in control. I didn't tell anyone about this during that time. Looking back, I really think I should have. When my mum found out she was worried!

Comment from: Peteybug, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: October 22

I'm am 17 years old. . .junior in high school. I started throwing up four weeks ago, and I said I wouldn't do it again, but I haven't been able to stop since. I wasn't losing weight any other way so I decided to try. I get random sore throats and I have a tooth mark on my right knuckle. Three of my friends know I do it, so they check in on me every now and then. Yesterday was the first time I told my counseling group I throw up. I go to counseling or try to once a week because I have depression and self-esteem problems. I am very OCD… haha… Perfection baby!!! My mess has helped with the sadness but now being bulimic is my next mountain to climb :(

Comment from: MarthaRH, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 09

I'm a sufferer of bulimia and am fed up with it. I try to be strong and resist the temptation to binge but it always seems to get the better of me. I first started to purge when I was 13 and now I am 16. It was around 15 when I plucked up the courage to tell my mum. What made it worse was that I was in boarding school. My mum helped me so much. She is my rock. She spoke to a very lovely lady who was like a counselor who would come to my house and sit with me and talk - not just about purging, but about day to day life. This was nice, because you don't always want to talk about purging all the time. My mum thinks I'm fine now, but I still purge, 2-4 times a day. My teeth are slowly losing their enamel, my knuckles are red raw, my periods have become very un-predictable and I feel very dizzy/faint a lot of the time. A word of advice to all those suffers out there - if you keep yourself busy, such as joining a theatre, dance club or maybe a light job it will help to keep your mind off of purging and also help you understand that you do need some food to help keep up your energy. I know that's rich coming from a sufferer myself, but it helped me so maybe it will help you too. Now I only throw up once a day, which isn't great but a brilliant improvement. I belive that we can do it, but it will take a lot of support, strength and resistance. Stand firm.

Comment from: niclinsmi, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 22

I started being bulimic before my wedding when I had to drop weight fast. It was a mix between anorexia and bulimia. It worked but it has been about 9 months and I'm still bulimic. I really want to stop. I'm scared. I just can't seem to help it. I am over weight and I exercise a lot. I can't afford to get therapy or go to a doctor. I would go in an instant.

Comment from: booty, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 22

I am 32 and currently go to about 10 hours of therapy each week. I have an art therapist, a "shrink", a nutritionist and someone who does body work/ balancing (with a computer, hard to explain). This is my second time in therapy for my eating disorder. I began throwing up when I was 17, like many eating disorder patients I bounce back and forth between bulimia and anorexia staying with each one for about 2 years at a time. I'm hoping this will be my last treatment. If I don't beat it this time, I don't think life will be worth it anymore. I have a horrible quality of life. Everything hurts, I don't sleep; I don't hang out with many people and it's hard for me to travel even to see my family because my whole life is a lie. On the outside I look like the epitomy of healthy. I'm short and strong. I weigh 110 lbs, lots of muscle, shiny hair, all smiles, good skin, I run every day, I surf 4 times a week etc... meanwhile I have osteoporosis, underactive thyroid, my teeth are yellowish and full of cavities, I'm always constipated, and the Dr. is now running tests to see if I'm sterile. This eating disorder is ruining my life and yet I can't seem to let it go.

Comment from: Dying inside, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 14

I have had bulimia for about 6 to 7 years. I do not like myself my looks or my body. I am a mom of 3 beautiful kids 2 boys and a girl my daughter is 14 and I so don't want her to ever be like me. I binge and purge everyday anywhere from 3 to 6 times a day. I use laxatives a lot. My body is starting to feel really weak. I know I am being selfish because I am going to die from this one day and my kids will not have a mom. I do not like doing it but I love to eat and eat a lot of whatever I want and not get fat.

Comment from: 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I was bulimic last year. I would eat a big meal then feel fat and guilty. So to loose that weight I would fast by not eating lunch or breakfast for a couple weeks. My parents didn't know because I would always eat dinner.

Comment from: 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 11

I am 19 years old and have had a problem with food for as long as I can remember. I have this thing where whatever I eat makes me feel like I have put on weight, so I go on these days where I would eat loads and then be sick and some days I would eat nothing. I don't have anyone to turn to and I feel it's controlling me I don't think it will ever end.

Patient Comments & Reviews

  • Bulimia - Treatments

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  • Bulimia - Symptoms

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Medically reviewed by Marina Katz, MD; American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology

REFERENCES:

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 2013.

American Psychiatric Association. Treatment of patients with eating disorders, third edition. Practice Guidelines, the American Psychiatric Association 2006, May.

Austin, S.B., J. Kim, J. Wiecha, et al. "School-based overweight preventive intervention lowers incidence of disordered weight-control behaviors in early adolescent girls." Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine 161.9 (2007): 865-869.

Cohen, S.B. "Media exposure and the subsequent effects on body dissatisfaction, disordered eating and drive for thinness: A review of the current research." Mind Matters: The Wesleyan Journal of Psychology 1 (2006): 57-71.

Crow, S.J., C.B. Peterson, S.A. Swanson, et al. "Increased mortality in bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders." American Journal of Psychiatry 166 Dec. 2009: 1342-1346.

Easter, A., J. Treasure, and N. Micali. "Fertility and prenatal attitudes towards pregnancy in women with eating disorders: results from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children." British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2011.

Franko, D.L., M.A. Blais, A.E. Becker, et al. "Pregnancy complications and neonatal outcomes in women With eating disorders." American Journal of Psychiatry 158 (2001): 1461-1466.

Guez, J., R. Lev-Wiesel, S. Valetsky, et al. "Self-figure drawings in women with anorexia; bulimia; overweight; and normal weight: A possible tool for assessment." The Arts in Psychotherapy 37.5 (2010): 400.

Holm-Denoma, J.M., and B.L. Hankin. "Perceived physical appearance mediates the rumination and bulimic symptom link in adolescent girls." Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology 39.4 Jan. 2010: 537-544.

Kinzl, J.F., and W. Biebl. "Are eating disorders addictions?" Neuropsychiatry 24.3 (2010): 200-208.

Pritts, S.D., and J. Susman. "Diagnosis of Eating Disorders in Primary Care." American Family Physician 67.2 Jan. 2003: 297-304.

Richards, P.S., M.E. Berrett, R.K. Hardman, and D.L. Eggett. "Comparative efficacy of spirituality, cognitive and emotional support groups for treating eating disorder inpatients." Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention 14.5 (2006).

Yager, J., M.J. Devlin, K.A. Halmi, et al. Guideline Watch (August 2012): Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Eating Disorders, 3rd Edition. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 2012.

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