Bulimia nervosa is a condition that is characterized by the bingeing of food, followed by an immediate attempt to purge the food from the body because of a fear of gaining weight. During the binge stage, people with bulimia will eat large amounts of food in a very short amount of time. Purging can include vomiting, the use of laxatives or diuretics, and excessive exercise.
People with bulimia may engage in a cycle of strict dieting, intense hunger, binge eating, purging to avoid gaining weight, shame and disgust, and the return to a strict diet as a result of body dissatisfaction. Characteristics of someone with bulimia nervosa include disordered perception of weight or shape, unusually obsessive eating behaviors, depression, and isolation from peers or family. People with bulimia may schedule their day around binge and purging episodes.
People with bulimia have negative attitudes towards their body and suffer with extreme body dissatisfaction. Bulimia nervosa is a disorder that can be associated with low self-esteem, alcohol misuse, depression and self-harm. People with bulimia feel ashamed of their behavior and may feel guilty, however, the fear of gaining weight perpetuates their continued disordered behavior.
Bulimia nervosa is a vicious cycle of guilt and low self worth, and it is important to get treatment and seek help.