Like many mental health illnesses, bulimia nervosa can often be misunderstood. Some consider it as a lifestyle choice, with vanity being the end goal, when in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Like many mental health illnesses, the way a person suffers can vary depending on a number of different factors. These factors can be personal, social, cultural or a mixture of all three.
What is Bulimia Nervosa?
Bulimia nervosa, also known as bulimia, is where a person binges on food. The behavioural traits of a person suffering from bulimia include eating a large amount of food within a short space of time. When bulimia sufferers consume food, they often feel a loss of control. As sufferers often put an emphasis on the way their body looks, this can lead to a number of compensatory behaviours.
What Are The Compensatory Behaviours of Bulimia Nervosa?
Compensatory behaviours follow excessive eating, and are carried out as sufferers believe them to be a way of tackling weight gain following an excessive amount of eating. These behaviours can include vomiting, the use of laxatives, excessive exercise and the unhealthy consumption of drugs thought to aid weight loss.
Getting Support for Bulimia Nervosa
As bulimia nervosa is a serious mental illness, stopping the behaviours associated with the condition is easier said than done. People are often unable to just adopt to a healthy lifestyle. As such, a great deal of support has to be in place. Family and friends are often keen to assist those who are suffering, but generally a more robust solution is best for all those concerned.
For example, a person may wish to attend support groups. This will assist sufferers as they will know that they are not alone in their suffering, and they will also receive an additional platform for support.
In order for bulimia nervosa to be treated, the root cause of the illness needs to be identified. As no two sufferers are the same, there could be a variety of reasons as to why someone consumes more food than required. This is where specialist help can be advantageous.
There are a range of clinics, including Spectrum Therapy, who have a number of treatments in place to truly help those who suffer from bulimia nervosa understand where the problem started. A number of steps can then be taken to ensure that the person is able to deal with these issues, and adopt a healthier lifestyle moving forward.
Some Other Tips
While expert advice should always be sought, there are a few things that those who suffer from bulimia can do to try to help and take the edge of stressful situations that normally result in binge eating.
For example, don’t visit websites that aid sufferers in losing weight. Many are misguided and could potentially cause long-term damage moving forward. Look for support from friends and family and those who genuinely care for your welfare.
Focus on positive role models. All too often people can try and emulate a celebrity they see in the media, but it’s worth noting that many images are often retouched.
Find a hobby you enjoy. While not an overall cure, having a distraction can only be a positive thing.