Bulimia Nervosa

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    Community Voices

    Surviving an eating disorder

    Did you know that anorexia is one of the deadliest mental illnesses? Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses yet we barely ever hear about them. I don't think there is enough awareness or education surrounding eating disorders which is why I am so thankful for today's podcast guest. Suz Carpenter struggled with Bulimia most of her life. She was so ashamed that she kept it a secret even from her husband. It wasn't until someone asked her a profound question that she knew she needed to get help and change her life.

    Listen to today's episode to learn more about eating disorders and Suz's powerful story of courage and hope.

    accordingtodes.com/85-2

    #BulimiaNervosa #Bulimia #EatingDisorders #EatingDisorder #podcastepisode #MentalHealthAwareness #MentalIllness #MentalHealth

    Community Voices

    I really wanna binge and purge.

    I feel so addicted. Like it’s a drug. I know it’s bad for me, but I want to make myself b/p. #BulimiaNervosa

    Community Voices
    Community Voices

    Learning About and Living With Bulimia

    According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), 30 million women and men will struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Bulimia is characterized by binge eating, often with high caloric foods followed by purging. If not stopped, it can cause major health concerns. Bulimia does not discriminate against race, sex, weight, body type or socioeconomic status. Many people struggle with this life-threatening illness. So, why is this disorder so misunderstood? Through my personal experience, I’d like to provide some insight. 1. Development of bulimia Bulimia, along with other eating disorders, has been stereotyped as only related to weight. It’s important to understand that this is not always true. Yes, social idealization of being thin can be a culprit, but environmental factors often contribute to the development of eating disorders. This was true for me. In my experience, trauma played a role. Sexual abuse, constant emotional and physical torture from high school bullies, along with a loss as a young adult left me emotionally scarred. Over time, depression set in. This was the beginning of the foundational cracks in my mental health. On the verge of an eating disorder, you are often unaware of what is happening to you. So when one emotional evening had me eating too much, I got painfully bloated. I purged for the first time. The release felt good. There were no thoughts about weight. Only loss and pain. Because of my emotional state, somehow the release I felt made me feel better, emotionally. On days I felt down, I ate junk and the cycle repeated. Before I knew it, what had been manifesting over time, suddenly had a strong, overpowering grip on me. It’s important to know that something that causes a negative impact on your psyche has the potential to manifest into something destructive. 2. A day in the life of a bulimic Dopamine is released during overeating, which creates a sensation of pleasure and euphoria. This process allows us to continue the behavior so that we feel good again. It’s an addiction. I lost a little weight and was complimented on the way I looked. I welcomed it. I lacked self-esteem, so the more compliments I received, the better I felt. For something that had nothing to do with weight, it soon became all about it. I told myself that I was going to stop once I’d reached my goal. I never did. Still, I thought I was in control. A day in the life of a bulimic consists of being consumed with thoughts of food. Every minute of every day. Food cravings, ingredients, calories. How food would impact the scales. A tug of war between “I’m going to be good today!” and the consequences of failing. Guilt immediately after eating and more so knowing you’d purge. This immediately turns to disgust once the inevitable has happened. Apprehension and panic take hold. Will everything come up? When you feel lightheaded or pass out, this quickly switches to, “maybe I should have left a little inside to keep me going.” On the outside, I would put on a façade. Behind closed doors, I was depressed and felt as though I didn’t want to go on. 3. Changes in behavior I became obsessive and compulsive. The daily battle was intensifying. The me I once knew morphed and I became irritable and had aggressive outbursts. I was deceitful and found myself doing things I could never have imagined. Lying, treating people disrespectfully, stealing. 4. The truth about bulimia Many don’t understand why they become bulimic. I believe it’s one of the contributory factors of relapse. They are treating the symptom and not the cause. Many bulimics look healthy. It can disrupt personal and family dynamics. You can be bulimic even if you eat healthy meals between purges. This is not a choice. It’s a serious illness. There’s an increased risk for suicide and medical complications Misconception: Those battling bulimia can stop at any time. Those tormented by bulimia make frequent trips to the bathroom after meals and often abuse laxatives. They drink excessive amounts of water when consuming food. You may see scars over the knuckles. 5. Setbacks and triggers Setbacks are to be expected. I can attest to this. The sequence of binging and purging can be triggered in response to stress and anxiety. The feeling of guilt and being a failure for slipping up, adds to this. 6. Side effects of bulimia Cardiovascular complications Syncope, from dehydration and lack of nutrition Memory loss and lack of concentration Digestive issues Esophageal damage Hair loss and dry skin and nails Dental problems Menstrual irregularities And more… 7. Road to recovery A strong support system is crucial. Positive reinforcement for all the small steps that are made towards recovery are encouraged. Supporters: these words of encouragement are for you. The more I learned, the more I realized why I hadn’t been successful in my recovery. The key to it all was nourishing your mind, body and soul. It isn’t enough to eat healthy and hope that nothing triggers a purge. Staying strong emotionally and physically through exercise is important, but isn’t enough. Dealing with past trauma is a crucial part of healing, but on its own, it isn’t enough. Taking time to yourself to reflect and relax, giving back and being grateful for what you have, all have healing properties, but that too isn’t enough. You need mind, body and spiritual fulfillment. Win your battle with bulimia! To those that are fighting their own battle: Here is a letter from me to you . Take the first step on your journey to a more fulfilled life…   By Shani-Lee Wallis Author of “War with Myself: Achieving Victory in the Battle with Bulimia.”

    Community Voices

    What was the turning point in deciding to seek help for your eating disorder?

    <p>What was the turning point in deciding to seek help for your <a href="https://themighty.com/topic/eating-disorders/?label=eating disorder" class="tm-embed-link  tm-autolink health-map" data-id="5b23ce7a00553f33fe991c1e" data-name="eating disorder" title="eating disorder" target="_blank">eating disorder</a>?</p>
    5 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    I have a meal I am supposed to eat. But I can’t. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to follow through? #eatingameal #eatingdisordersupport

    Hi there 👋.
    So I don’t have any professional supports, or even a diagnosed
    #EatingDisorder (it’s a long story, including dismissal from professionals, invalidation of my concerns and friends accusing me of ‘wanting to have an ED’ 🙄 so ridiculous I can’t even explain how wrong this is) I’ve long believed I have an #EatingDisorder but because I can’t get help from professionals I’m trying to do this alone.
    I don’t fit any of the ‘stereotypical EDs’ such as #AnorexiaNervosa #BulimiaNervosa #BingeEatingDisorder and I don’t count calories (which was the main basis that I was told by my doctors that I ‘don’t have an ED’) and would be closer to either #ednos or #arfid if I was to have a diagnosis. I don’t want another diagnosis, I have PLENTY. It’s not about that. But, at least if I did have a diagnosis, it would be easier to get help. Like I’d be able to say to someone ‘please help me with x’ and even here, I’d be able to use the hashtags most relevant! And this all makes it worse, because then I think ‘well if they say I don’t have a problem, then I mustn’t have a problem so it’s okay to continue what I’m doing’, which is damaging in itself.
    Anyway.
    So! I have a meal for lunch I have planned I need to eat. I’m doing this by myself, so it’s hard. I know I need to eat this food, I know it’s fuel for my body, I know I deserve to eat and I know that I am worth health and happiness. I know I am worth eating (that sounds weirdly phrased).
    The meal only needs to be heated. And it’s been over two hours since I had planned to eat my lunch, and it’s still in the fridge. I don’t know how to get through the barrier of going through the process of having my meal. I don’t know how to get myself to open the fridge, pull out the meal, heat it, and then eat it. And because I’m trying to help myself, I don’t know what strategies would be best to use to help me through.
    Does anyone have suggestions?
    Thank you ❤️ (and thank you for reading this whole thing!)

    3 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Really needing help from people with undiagnosed #EatingDisorders

    Need some help. Trying to help myself because no one will. I have tried to get some help, I am certain I have an #EatingDisorder but when I tried to discuss it with my psychologist, it was dismissed based on the fact I ‘don’t count calories’ (which I don’t) and that was it. But that’s not ‘just it’. I don’t fit any of the ‘typical’ forms of #EatingDisorders either, I don’t have #AnorexiaNervosa nor #BulimiaNervosa or #BingeEatingDisorder . I DO NOT need another diagnosis, I have plenty. I just need help. I need help with strategies and tools to help me live a better, happier life. I’m doing well in a lot of ways with my other mental health issues, but this is just getting out of control and I’m getting scared what will happen. Especially with the holiday season.

    I’ve tried to open up to a few friends about it, people I thought would understand, and who would understand the hesitantcy I have about talking to people about it, and they accused me of ‘wanting to have an #EatingDisorder ‘ which is absolute rubbish. Who would want one? I have dear friends that struggle terribly and I hate to see their suffering and I have no idea why anyone would think anyone would ‘want’ that. So of course I stopped talking to people about it.

    I am currently struggling to finish my dinner. The part that ‘hates the food’ (aka the ED part) wont let me finish it, but the other part says I should. It’s not ‘healthy food’ so there is that explanation for not finishing (because it’s ‘unhealthy food’ so I shouldn’t eat it) but then the other part says ‘fed is best’ as in ‘I struggle to eat anything, so even if it’s ‘unhealthy food’ it’s better than eating nothing at all’.

    Any help?

    8 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Here's hoping 🤞

    <p>Here's hoping 🤞</p>
    Community Voices

    For anyone who needs to hear this 💖

    <p>For anyone who needs to hear this 💖</p>