I’m a 43-year old woman with an eating disorder. I’ve been bulimic for 25 years now, starting when I was 18. I went to treatment when I was 20, but I still continue to purge. I always thought that I’d grow out of it, or that I’d stop when I became a professional, got married, had children, et cetera, but I’m still bulimic and purge at least once a day. I live a double life and it is tearing me up inside literally. Why can’t I stop? ~ From Desperate in Dallas.
I’m so glad that you’ve reached out, that’s a great first step. People come to us with all different phases of eating disorders. It is complicated. Bear with me.
Eating disorders take many forms and they progress over time.
Often, somebody comes to us when they’re overweight and they want to lose weight, but they’ve had bulimia in the past, or they’ve had anorexia in the past. Somebody might have started out anorexic when they were in their teens, then they lost the ability to restrict, so they become bulimic, and then the bulimia stopped working; they become overeaters outright and they gain weight.
People come to us in different stages of their eating disorder, but it’s all still a problem with food, it’s still an eating disorder, no matter what different name you put on it. Eating disorders do not “get up and go away” on their own. If you have an eating disorder, it is chronic and it is progressive. It will progress as you get older and it won’t just suddenly disappear.
You could be healed of your eating disorder, but not without addressing the underlying causes.
Bulimia is a coping skill; stopping is going to leave you without coping tools.
Bulimia is a symptom of a much deeper trouble. Going to treatment for bulimia is not going to solve the underlying problem. You need to look to the real issue, under the symptom, the real unrest, the real anxiety around what is causing you to reach out for food as a coping skill.
We love helping people with all different forms of eating disorders because we show you how to literally live life without needing the crutch and the coping tools of any kind of eating disorder, bulimia included.
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