What is Bulimia Nervosa?

It is a serious mental health condition, which can result in an Eating Disorder. People who suffer from Bulimia try to control their weight by adopting one or more of the following behaviors:

  • ridding their body of food by purging
  • exercising excessively
  • taking laxatives

As a result of these behaviours, emotions and thoughts are distorted. Their focus in life revolves around restricting, eating or bingeing food, followed by purging.

There are also physical symptoms such as:

  • dietary chaos
  • deterioration of teeth, digestive system and salivation glands
  • strain on the heart and brain
  • fertility issues

How therapy will work to help you

Therapy offers a supportive, non-judgmental and safe environment; giving you space away from everyday life to understand how Bulimia has developed and how it currently impacts on your life.

The initial meeting will help me to build a treatment plan that is right for you.

Together we will explore some sensitive areas to really understand how:

  • the condition has developed
  • the intake of food has become out of control
  • current eating habits affect physical health
  • food has become all consuming, giving way to feelings of addiction to bingeing and purging
  • losing weight is the main focus, but compulsive eating urges occur regularly
  • current food script and emotional eating patterns operate
  • purging began as a desperate way to control weight (often ceasing to work and resulting in weight gain)
  • numbness, guilt anxiety and fear around meal times is managed
  • the desire to be thin affects self-esteem
  • certain behaviors create feelings of shame
  • constant mood swings occur

Holding this information and working together in a therapeutic environment we will explore and look forward, because recovery is possible with the right support and treatment.

I know from personal experience that making the decision to change can be difficult. Sufferers of Bulimia experience a deep sense of shame and low self-worth, finding it difficult to initially ask for help. In the first session I often hear:

“Friends and family think I’m really confident they don’t know about my secret, I’m fake”

“I am deeply unhappy and I want help, but I’m really frightened I will get fat if I stop purging”

 “I restrict food then I’m so hungry I have to binge, then I can’t bare the guilt so I purge”

Recovery aims

Bulimia sufferers become exhausted by the obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors around food. Deep down they know that they have withdrawn from normal life and spend most of the time worrying about food. Bulimia treatment works across many areas; it is not just about food and purging.

Recovery includes:

  • building motivation and commitment to change
  • understanding bulimia
  • understanding how the relationship with food has developed and maintained (this is known as the predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating factors)
  • starting a new relationship with food, working together gently to achieve manageable steps
  • gaining self-control with food
  • nutritional knowledge and lifestyle changes to eliminate the binge eating
  • knowing how to deal with negative thought and behavioral patterns: For example: anxiety, fear, unhappiness, anger, bulimic thoughts etc.
  • managing the fear that weight gain will occur
  • gaining confidence, control and emotional strength
  • healing body image
  • knowing how to cope with a relapse so that you keep feeling in control

Whether you know or think you may have a problem, try not to ignore it or struggle to cope. I encourage you to take that first and important step and seek help. I understand Bulimia Nervosa and what it means and I will be there to support you through changes, helping you at each stage to overcome any difficulties in a trustful and safe environment. Recovery is possible.

If you think I could help you or you would like more information please contact me.

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