Understanding Bulimia Nervosa
People suffering from bulimia lack control over both the binge eating and the purging. Like all addictions and mental health conditions, symptoms can rapidly escalate. The intervals between periods of binging and purging shortening and the time spent engaging in these behaviours increasing.
Purging can take many forms including vomiting, taking laxatives or diuretics, fasting or excessive exercise. Purging is almost always done in secret, and as a person suffering from bulimia rarely exhibits the same signs of malnutrition that someone suffering from anorexia might, it can be very hard to spot. The tell-tale signs are usually puffy cheeks, tooth discolouration, weight fluctuation, blood-shot eyes and calluses on the knuckles from induced vomiting.
People suffering from bulimia often exhibit personality traits such as neuroticism, obsessiveness and perfectionism. Low self-esteem, unresolved trauma, a harsh inner critic, genetics and learnt behaviour (from a parent, sibling or caregiver during childhood) can also contribute to the development of bulimia.