Do you know anyone who suffers from bulimia?

Do you worry that someone you love might be going through this disorder?

Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder that affects over 200,000 people every year.

There are signs you can look for, but most people who have bulimia become very good at hiding their symptoms.  Not all people who have bulimia are thin teenage girls, although that is the perception.

Men can also suffer from this condition, and the numbers show that many who have bulimia are over the age of 60.

Bulimia is a complicated disorder in which culture, body image, and the compulsion to eat become a tangled problem that may seem beyond your power to stop.

Like other compulsive behaviors, it may follow a predictable pattern: binge eating followed by shame or guilt, followed by purging or exercise, or both. The purging and exercising give might give you some feeling of control, but the bingeing takes away that feeling, and the roller coaster starts over again.

What are some of the signs or symptoms of eating disorders, including bulimia:

  • obsession with body or weight–always talking about dieting or looking fat.
  • going to the bathroom after meals–does the water run too long? It might be covering the sound of purging.
  • eating alone, eating after everyone has gone to bed, late night runs for food–do you eat until you get sick, or feel like once you start, you can’t stop yourself?
  • eating disorders tend to run in families. So talk to your family. Ask questions.

There are so many other signs of bulimia and eating disorders.  Please do the research.

If you, or someone you care about is affected by, or suffering from bulimia, or any eating disorder, know that there is hope–and help. There are so many resources out there to help you cope with eating disorders! I’ve listed a few sources below:

  4. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

As mentioned before, talking to your family is important! You might find out why you act or feel in certain ways. So talk. But listen, too.

You might find comfort when you learn that you are not alone, that others are worried about what you’re going through.

And if you’re talking to your teen about this issue, assure them that you love them just the way they are!

If you know that the tendency for eating disorders run in your family, start talking to them younger. Children hear information on television, internet and other media that present information from one point of view. It’s important that they hear a balanced view from you. That society’s views of how they should look, act or feel is not your view.

In the words of Ted: “Be excellent to each other.”

Read. Research. Understand. Get the Help You Want.