Bulimia is a serious eating disorder which is characterised by the eating of large quantities of food and then purging of the system, either by self-induced vomiting or use of laxatives. By quickly expelling food that has been consumed, someone suffering from bulimia tries to negate the effects of the calorie intake.
The first step in beating bulimia (or any of the eating disorders) is for the person affected to accept and admit that they have a problem. Someone who is suffering from bulimia may have managed to keep their eating disorder a secret from friends, family and those closest to them. They may have feelings of guilt and shame that prevent them from reaching out and seeking help to beat this debilitating disorder. Eating disorders are a progressive disease which cannot actually be cured, but can be treated. By learning to manage their behaviours and changing their attitude to food, there is no reason why someone suffering from bulimia cannot go on to live a healthier lifestyle.
Recovering from bulimia
Once someone is diagnosed with bulimia, they must change their harmful eating habits and behaviours. They must change the way they think about food, and stop regarding it as the enemy. They may also need to put on weight if they have lost too much in the course of bingeing and purging.
If someone has been suffering from Bulimia for a long period, it may take quite some time to learn healthy eating habits and put on weight, if necessary. In order to ensure the best chance of recovery, help should be sought as soon as possible. Rehabilitation from any eating disorder may be a complicated process and the sufferer may relapse several times before they finally conquer their problems.
Counselling and therapy
There are many different ways Bulimia can be treated. Whichever method is chosen, it will include counselling as Bulimia is primarily a mental health issue. Different therapies can be used to treat bulimia. The most common is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT.) This encompasses looking at healthier ways to deal with everyday situations, emotions and attitude to food. It is often useful to keep up “food diary,” which can help identify different triggers and situations that can result in binge eating. By addressing underlying issues and being able to manage these triggers, someone suffering from bulimia can learn to control their behaviour.
Often, SSRIs are used in the treatment of bulimia. SSRIs such as fluoxetine or citalopram are more commonly used the depression that can be used to treat eating disorders by increasing the amount of serotonin available in the brain it may be easier for the sufferer to deal with their eating disorder. Medication is no quick fix, however, as it take a few weeks to build up in the system and start working. Medication alone is not enough to beat an eating disorder and should be used in tandem with other therapies such as counselling.
Any recovery programme will be doomed to failure unless someone suffering from bulimia has a true desire to change. Without a genuine wish to address their behaviours any attempt at rehabilitation is unlikely to succeed. If you, or someone you know, are suffering from bulimia, then you should try and seek help as soon as possible. The sooner an eating disorder such as bulimia is diagnosed it is easier to treat and a successful recovery more likely.