Understanding Bulimia

Coach Jen's picture

10 Thoughts That Held Me Back From Recovery.

For someone with bulimia, what does it mean to be ‘in recovery?’ Why does it seem like for every step forward, we take another one back? In the midst of a confusing, frustrating and scary recovery, it is difficult to remove yourself from the situation and look at things objectively.

However, after recovery I am able to easily recognize my own thoughts that held me back. Maybe by sharing those obstacles, you can overcome them more quickly than I did. 

My struggle with bulimia lasted 6 years, and my eating disorder history dates back even longer. It took me a full year to recover, which seemed like eternity thanks to some false beliefs and fears.

As you may know, I am now a recovery coach here at Bulimia Help. My recovery inspires me every day to continue sharing the message that a lifelong recovery is possible and within your reach. In order to accomplish this, you have to let go of those thoughts and false beliefs that are holding you back.

So here they are: the 10 thoughts that held me back during recovery.

Kathryn_Hansen's picture

Binge Urges: The Brain’s Conditioned Response to Negative Emotions

Kathryn Hansen, recovered bulimic and author of the best-selling eating disorders book, "Brain over Binge: Why I Was Bulimic, Why Conventional Therapy Didn't Work, and How I Recovered for Good" discusses why you may be linking your negative emotions to your binge eating, but also why your negative emotions aren’t to blame.

Richard Kerr's picture

8 False Fears holding you back from recovery. Which ones are affecting you?

Here are 8 of the most common "False Fears" that hold people back from bulimia recovery. Which ones are affecting you?

Richard Kerr's picture

Bulimia statistics

While statistics show that certain types of people are more likely to suffer from bulimia, it is important to remember that absolutely anyone can develop bulimia at any point in their life. 

Like all other eating disorders, bulimia does NOT discriminate against gender, age, religion, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality or level of intelligence.

Worryingly statistics have shown that new cases of bulimia appear to be increasing rapidly, especially when compared to the incident of anorexia which seems to have remained fairly constant over time. Let’s take a look at some of the main bulimia statistics.

Catherine Liberty's picture

You’re never too old to have bulimia

Despite what you may have heard, you are never too old to have bulimia and it is never too late to recover.

Catherine Liberty's picture

Is bulimia in your genes?

What does the future hold for those of us who’ve never known what it’s like to eat normally? And can you really be born with bulimia?

Catherine Liberty's picture

Recovered vs. Recovering

During my own journey towards recovery I discovered some truly wonderful women and men who had completely recovered from their eating disorders and today, as part of this week’s special recovery article, I’d love to introduce you to one of those people.

Catherine Liberty's picture

The Alarming Link Between Diets and Bulimia

Researchers have proven time and time again that a restrictive diet has the ability to induce every single physical and psychological symptom we associate with bulimia. 

Catherine Liberty's picture

Bulimia & Bingeing

Everything you needed to know about bulimia and bingeing. This one is especially for those of you who've experienced the dreaded "cereal addiction."

Catherine Liberty's picture

How to stop bulimia

In this article we discuss one of the most important steps that you need to take in order to stop bulimia forever!

Catherine Liberty's picture

What are the differences between anorexia and bulimia?

In this article we look at the importance of discussing the differences between the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia while also considering the impact that pitting one eating disorder against another can have.

Catherine Liberty's picture

Living with Bulimia

Living with bulimia is very tough indeed. The truth is that people have no control over their bulimia until they are able to learn how to slowly start taking that control back through recovery.

Bulimia consumes your every thought and action and can cause you to completely lose all sense and knowledge of your true identity.

When you have bulimia you feel like you are trapped in a maze with no way out.

You can often feel like you’ll never escape from bulimia because without the right guidance and support it can be impossible to believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

What is bulimia? (quite proud of this one, please read)

Marionette's picture

What is bulimia?

It is a desire to be beautiful.
So we destroy our bodies, as our faces swell and our hair falls out.

Richard Kerr's picture

Does bulimia make you depressed or depressed people get bulimia?

Does bulimia make you depressed or do depressed people get bulimia?

Good question.

Current research suggests that it can happen either way.

But we strongly believe that bulimia makes you depressed.

Its not surprizing, having bulimia is not fun, but there is some science behind it too.

Endorphins, Malnutrition and Serotonin.

All bulimics restrict there food.

It could be a pruge, a fast after a binge or an excessive bout of exercise.

This means your body is not getting enough food.

Food restriction then leads to mental health symptoms.

Food restriction can lead to:

Food obsession, powerful food cravings, social anxiety, social withdrawal, irritability, mood swings, apathy, relationship problems and ...depression.

When you eat there are thousands of chemical reactions that happen in your body. Inadequate food consumption inhibits and alters these chemical reactions.

Research shows that carbohydrates are needed to produce adequate amounts of serotonin in your brain. This is your 'feel' good chemical, so without an ample amount getting produced upstairs you are going to feel generally miserable and sad.

Admin's picture

Do I have bulimia?

If you have ever asked yourself Do I have bulimia? or am I bulimic?  then you almost certainly have some kind of eating disorder. Whether you could be diagnosed with having Bulimia really depends on if you meet the specific “diagnostic criteria”.

The term “diagnostic criteria” basically just refers to a list of traits and behaviours that doctors, psychologists or psychiatrists use in order to label or name an eating disorder.

What is the diagnostic criteria for Bulimia?

Take a look at the official diagnostic criteria for Bulimia below. If you can identify with each point then it is likely that you do have Bulimia.

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The information provided in this website is for information purposes only. The information on this website is NOT a substitute for proper diagnosis, treatment or the provision of advice by an appropriate health professional. Please refer to the full disclaimer and copyright. If you do think you might suffer from an eating disorder, it is important that you talk to your General Practitioner, as there are many physical complications that can arise from being at an unhealthily low weight or from losing weight very quickly, or from purging. We advise you to seek professional help with working on an eating disorder.


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