Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by a cycle of binging (excessive over eating) and compensatory compulsive behaviors such as self-induced vomiting and excessive exercise. Binge Eating is commonly explained as a behavior that feels, “ completely out of my control”.
Symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa:
- Dissatisfaction with ones’ weight, body size and body shape.
- Constant dieting.
- Excessive consumption of food over a short period of time.
- Self induced vomiting.
- Discoloration of teeth, due to self induced vomiting.
- Avoidance of eating in social settings, with sufferers often eating very late at night.
- Rigid Exercise Program, even if suffering injury or exhaustion.
- Swelling of cheeks or jaw.
- Withdrawal from social settings, due to fear of their body being judged or being “found out”.
Recurring binge/purge behavior can be severely damaging to the digestive system and can lead to medical issues such as electrolyte and chemical imbalances, organ damage, inflammation of the esophagus, Gastric Rupture and possibly heart failure.
It is important to note that people struggling with Bulimia Nervosa may appear to be within “normal” body size, unlike Anorexia Nervosa (LINK). This can complicate people’s likelihood to seek help or decrease the likelihood of others observing that there is a problem.
If you have some or all of these symptoms and you feel like the above information describes you, see a qualified mental health professional for an assessment. Click here to contact Kimberley Quinlan, LMFT