Bulimia nervosa is a very common eating disorder and illness in which a person binges on food, eating tons and tons of food in short intervals, and while doing the overeating, feels an incredible loss of control. Coupled with that, the person then turns around and purges after binging, either through vomiting, abusing laxatives, or incredible exercise patterns that are dangerous and unsustainable, in an effort to lose all of the weight just gained through overeating.
Bulimia is a significant problem in Canada, specifically affecting young people, and even more specifically affecting young women. However, bulimia nervosa is unfortunately a very unknown disorder, as many young people suffering from it not only deny that they are suffering, but also refuse to seek either medical or psychological help for it until they are severely in danger for their lives.
Causes of bulimia nervosa are very wide and varied, and typically center around not only a mental or psychological disorder, but also around the unrealistic expectations young people place on themselves to look a certain way in order to fit in to school, society, or culture.
Millions of young people – again, predominantly women – feel that they need to become more thin, more toned, and weigh less in order to fit in with what they see in movies, on TV, and in magazines. As such, many young women fall to the issues of anorexia and bulimia in an effort to lose weight and in their minds, look better and gain popularity, friends, and success in society. Thus, causes for bulimia may be environmental as much as mental and physical.
Symptoms are fairly simple – the fact that those suffering from bulimia tend to overeat, only to purge that binging action out later through self-induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives, or over exercise to the point of body breakdown and serious problems.
Generally speaking, people who excuse themselves to the bathroom immediately after eating and stay to purge are obviously exhibiting symptoms of bulimia, but it is not always that simple. People suffering from bulimia nervosa work very hard to hide their condition, and work extensively well to keep their problem and issue private, making symptoms very difficult to be noticed by people who live with and around the patient every day.
Bulimia is a serious problem that is affecting more young people than have come forward about it. It’s critical that people suffering from bulimia nervosa get in front of a medical doctor and a psychologist in order to find solutions to their disorder that are sustainable and permanent.