It is quite frequent to come across people who are very self- conscious about their body shape and weight. It becomes easy for people with a confident body image to mock people who are more informed and anxious about how they look. But, does all this describes the state of our mental health?
What is Bulimia Nervosa?
Often known as Bulimia, it is an eating disorder that is pretty common all around the world but most people are unaware that they suffer from this disorder. It is quite dangerous to just overlook and blindsight it.
In Bulimia Nervosa, people generally display episodes of binge eating and purging out food later. To explain it clearly, for instance, A person with Bulimia would gorge over fries and burgers while being insightful off how much they are eating. Later, they purge out the food through harmful methods like self intended vomiting, or over-exercising. All of these episodes happen in a short duration of time.
Signs and Symptoms
Bulimia can be common in teenagers and women, However, it’s not just limited to them. Some Signs and Symptoms include:
- People who are suffering from Bulimia Nervosa would particularly binge eat and then shed out what they eat
- Impulsive and compulsive behavior can be one of the signs of this illness.
- Drastic changes in body weight and eating habits
- Depression can also be linked to people who are going through Bulimia Nervosa
- Mood Swings, feeling anxious and fickle-minded can be a contributing factor
- Some people also feel weird taste while consuming food in this disorder
- A feeling of being tired all the time
What are the causes of Bulimia Nervosa?
This eating disorder can be caused due to not just one but various underlying reasons-
- Genetic Factors- When someone in the family, whether siblings or biological parents have a history of some kind of eating disorder, it can be a contributing factor for the cause of Bulimia.
- Psychological Factors- Stress and Anxiety can cause this disorder in some way. Most people go through daily life stressors and that does not mean you’ll develop this illness. Some type of continuous stresses which follows for a long time can be a cause.
- Cultural Factors- People coming from different cultural backgrounds can see the world with different lenses. Some people generally develop low self-confidence and low self-esteem while transitioning into adolescence or adulthood, which can support the cause of this disorder. Some individuals develop a sense of low self-confidence due to racial discrimination and body image issues due to underlying cultural factors.
How can you help?
It is extremely easy to body shame people and feel good about oneself but it can be fairly difficult to appreciate others’ body types/shapes. But happiness always lies in appreciating people by making oneself aware that we all come into this world with different bodies. It can be all about perspective.
If you can change your perspective on how you feel about other people’s appearance, you can feel the same amount of good while appreciating others.
People with Bulimia can be lower in self-esteem in particular. To help a friend with this, one should be a good listener while being a good person. Being empathetic can be great deed towards someone suffering from bulimia nervosa. When you see someone persistently grumbling over their weight and show signs of a negative body image, you should provide them with the right encouragement and look after them to make them feel better and seek professional help.
Treating Bulimia Nervosa
It is very important to not hold up when you see someone or yourself suffering from this disorder as it can be treatable through different therapies and monitoring methods.
Treatment of Bulimia Nervosa may include different coping strategies. It is very much treatable and does not require a full-time commitment to be present in the clinic to be able to do that.
Most psychologists recommend people with early signs of bulimia to get treated as sometimes it is fairly difficult but for people to alter their behavior after a long time for this disorder. But when I say that, it is never impossible.
Coping Strategies include turning the low self-esteem issues by concentrating on changing specific beliefs one by one. This helps in transitioning the bigger picture into a positive self-body image.
It also includes bringing an end to binge eating and purging behavior. This is done through individual techniques for different people based on their assessment of behavior and personality characteristics.