Save Yourself From Bulimia
Do you need help breaking up with your eating disorder?
Reoccurring Binge Eating
Consuming food in a binge fashion just to purge it all afterwards in order to feel better about yourself can qualify you for bulimia. Otherwise known as "uncontrolled eating, or bingeing followed by behaviors designed to prevent weight gain from the binges. Some people consume 3,000 to 4,000 calories in one seating, focusing on food high in fat and carbohydrates"(Nolan-Hoeksema, S. (2007). Depression and anxiety are major contributors to people who suffer from bulimia, having the extra mental stress with little control over it can make you want to take control of other things. For example how much food you intake and how much you allow to stay in your body. This in turn gives people who struggle with bulimia a chance to control their weight in order to appear more beautiful, put together and confident in themselves... or so they hope. Although bulimia is more common in women, especially young women and adolescents, men are also candidates for the bingeing and purging. Some people assume if they only do it once in a while or not for every meal it isn't doing any harm. Binging and purging is deeper than the effects it is causing on your body, it is a mental disorder that is telling you not only is it okay to treat your body like this but feeding the idea that behaving this way makes you a better person or ultimately leads to you being more beautiful because you will be thinner.
People who suffer from Bulimia are in a constant state of dissatisfaction with themselves and can never feel good enough. Even after an episode they find a reason to continue the behavior, without any care as to the damages it is doing to them physically and mentally. They just want to see the results when they look in the mirror. "Individuals with bulimia nervosa diet in a rigid and dysfunctional manner (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Their body weight is typically normal or low normal, although bulimia nervosa does occur in some overweight individuals. Associated general psychopathology (e.g., depression and personality disorders) and psychosocial impairment are common"(Wilson, G., Grilo, C., & Vitousek, K. (2007).
Myths and Misconceptions about Bulimia Nervosa
Myth #1: Eating disorders are not serious; they are a lifestyle choice or about vanity.
The association between body dissatisfaction and eating disorders can sometimes lead people to mistakenly believe that eating disorders are prompted by vanity and represent a lifestyle choice to attain body ideals.
Eating disorders are serious and potentially life threatening mental illnesses; they are not a lifestyle choice or a diet gone 'too far'. A person with an eating disorder experiences severe disturbances in their behaviour around eating, exercising and related self harm because of distortions in their thoughts and emotions. Eating disorders defy classification solely as mental illnesses as they not only involve considerable psychological impairment and distress, but they are also associated with major wide-ranging and serious medical complications, which can affect every major organ in the body. The mortality rate for people with eating disorders is the highest of all psychiatric illnesses, and over 12 times higher than that for people without eating disorders.
Myth #2: Eating disorders are a cry for attention or a person ‘going through a phase’
The NEDC Youth Consultation showed that 51.3% of 12-17 year olds strongly agreed or agreed that a person with an eating disorder should ‘snap out of it, there are more important things in life to worry about’. These types of misconceptions are not limited to the general public. A person with an eating disorder may receive similar reactions from some health professionals.
Truth: People with eating disorders are not seeking attention. In fact, due to the nature of an eating disorder a person may go to great lengths to hide, disguise or deny their behaviour, or may not recognise that there is anything wrong.
Myth #3: Eating disorders only affect white, middle class females, particularly adolescent girls
It is true that the peak period for the onset of eating disorders is between the ages of 12 and 25 years, with a median age of around 18 years. One key group with a high risk of eating disorders is women, particularly those going through key transition periods (e.g. from school to adult life, pregnancy and menopause). This high risk has lead to a misconception that eating disorders only happen in this population.
Truth: Population studies have suggested that males make up approximately 25% of people with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa and 40% of people with binge eating disorder. In a recent study lifetime prevalence for anorexia nervosa in adolescents aged 13 – 18 years found no difference between males and females.
(Myths about eating disorders. (2015, April 24)
The most common way to treat bulimia today is...
Many people who suffer from bulimia and undergo treatment are taught to not just stop the destructive behavior but to make conscious food choices and decisions that will prevent them from feeling the need to purge.
"Theory-driven, manual-based cognitive behavioral therapy is based on a cognitive model of the mechanisms that are thought to maintain bulimia nervosa (Fairburn, Marcus, & Wilson, 1993). The core psychopathology is said to be a negative overconcern with body shape and weight that leads to dysfunctional dieting and other unhealthy weight-control behaviors. The dysfunctional dieting predisposes to binge eating. The treatment consists of cognitive and behavioral procedures designed to enhance motivation for change, replace dysfunctional dieting with a regular and flexible pattern of eating, decrease undue concern with body shape and weight, and prevent relapse. Treatment typically has consisted of 16 to 20 sessions of individual therapy over four to five months, although it has also been successfully implemented as group therapy (Chen et al., 2003; Nevonen & Broberg, 2006)"(Wilson, G., Grilo, C., & Vitousek, K. (2007).
What To Look For in an Eating Disorder Specialist?
Finding an eating disorder specialist will be an integral part of your recovery. There are several aspects you may want to consider and keep in mind when searching for the professionals you want to guide you through your healing journey. The following are key components to look for in an eating disorder specialist or questions to ask when searching:
- Does the eating disorder counselor or therapist treat primarily clients/patients with eating disorders? What is the experience with eating disorders?
- Are co-occurring disorders also addressed and simultaneously treated if necessary?
- Is the eating disorder specialist accredited? Degree accreditations for eating disorders therapists and counselors to look for may include an LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor) or LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker). Psychiatrists and physicians should hold medical degrees.
- Is the eating disorders specialist a member of prominent eating disorder organizations, such as the Academy of Eating Disorders of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals?
- What is the approach used in therapy?
- Does the specialist already work with a team of other professionals [eating disorder psychiatrists or dietitians]?
- Does the specialist have a long-term treatment plan to help you get well and stay well?
(Eating Disorder Therapists & Specialists Directory. (n.d.)
Eating Disorder Therapists & Specialists Directory. (n.d.). Retrieved May 09, 2016, from http://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/treatment-for-eating-disorders/therapists-specialists
Myths about eating disorders. (2015, April 24). Retrieved May 09, 2016, from http://www.nedc.com.au/myths
Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2007). Abnormal psychology. Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Wilson, G., Grilo, C., & Vitousek, K. (2007). Psychological treatment of eating disorders. American Psychologist, 62(3), 199-216. Retrieved May 9, 2016, from http://search.proquest.com.bakerezproxy.palnet.info/docview/614461993/fulltext/A1308B6FA5124BD7PQ/1?accountid=8473