Living with Bulimia

Bulimia is a tragically common mental disorder that takes a devastating toll on physical and psychological health. It is characterized by an excessive preoccupation with one’s weight, often as a result of distorted self-image, that is manifested through eating large amounts of food and forcing one’s self to vomit, also known as binging and purging. Bulimia affects 1.5 percent of the American population, which translates to over four million people. Nearly half of those who are suffering with bulimia also suffer from a co-occurring mental health disorder. If you or someone you care about is suffering from bulimia-related substance abuse, get the help you need now.

Signs and Symptoms of Bulimia

It’s important to remember that women suffer from eating disorder at twice the rate of men (10 million men versus 20 million women). Loved ones and family members are uniquely positioned to recognize signs and symptoms of bulimia, some of which may include:

• Binge Eating
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Distorted Body Image
• Hiding or Hoarding Food
• Eroded Tooth Enamel from Vomiting
• Eating to the Point of Physical Pain
• Loss of Control When Eating

Some of the more common lifestyle signs of bulimia include refusal to eat in public, social isolation and more. If you notice these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, get the help you need right away to start healing.

Effects of Bulimia

Bulimia renders sufferers vulnerable to a wide variety of physical and psychological health issues. These effects can last for a few months or for years to come. Some of the effects of bulimia include, but are by no means limited to:

• Trouble Sleeping
• Serious Gastrointestinal Issues
• Organ Failure
• Internal Bleeding
• Infertility
• Suicide
• Heart Attack
• Sore Throat
• Faint Feeling or Fatigue
• Dried Skin and More

Lifestyle effects include job loss, dropping out of school, deterioration of relationships, inability to move forward in life and substance abuse. Don’t let bulimia overtake your life. Get the help you need today and start fighting back.

Anorexia and Addiction

Ten percent of those living with bulimia also struggle with a separate substance abuse disorder, usually alcohol addiction. Many of the issues that lead to mental health issues like bulimia also create and sustain substance abuse (trauma, depression, anxiety, etc.). It’s important that patients receive comprehensive treatment for both conditions if they are suffering from co-occurring bulimia and addiction. This includes detox, comprehensive counseling and rehab, and acute medical care for the immediate dangers of bulimic behavior. With any dual-diagnosis issue, patients need specialized help for both conditions for long-term success. Patients should seek a facility that specializes in co-occurring disorder treatment.

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