Bulimia Counselling & Therapy
Other than for satiating hunger, we often use food as a means of escape for stress, loneliness or boredom, etc. There is no serious danger with having cheat days from time to time where you consume your favorite meal or eat more than necessary. But in cases of eating disorders, unhealthy eating can be dangerous and even life-threatening. Bulimia is one such condition. Let’s explore what bulimia is, what are its warning signs, and how you can treat it.
What is Bulimia?
Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder and a mental health condition. A person suffering from Bulimia will go through extremes when it comes to eating. First, they will consume a lot of food in a very short amount of time (also called binge eating). These binging periods are then followed by extreme efforts to get rid of the food to avoid gaining weight or other such complications.
This activity of getting rid of food is often referred to as purging. A bulimic person may drink laxatives, vomit, or do any other extreme exercise to get rid of their food. Bulimic people are concerned with their body aesthetics, so they go through extreme measures to make sure they do not gain weight.
Binging and purging are far from healthy habits and they can take a serious toll on both your mental and physical health. Our bodies are not designed to withstand laxatives and vomiting on a daily basis. Bulimia Nervosa is a serious mental health condition that requires intensive treatment. Such habits don’t only damage your body but can also cause heart attacks and even death in severe cases.
How to find a Bulimia Therapist
If you are looking to find the perfect Bulimia therapist it is crucial to make sure that they have the appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience. At Expat Therapy 4U we only accept therapists who have full professional proficiency in English and are highly experienced in working with people from culturally diverse backgrounds. The clinicians we approve share our values and commitment to provide high quality therapy to the expatriate community in the private sector across Europe and online worldwide. We strongly believe that therapy changes lives, and being accredited ensures all our therapists are qualified to a high standard. You can find a Bulimia therapist who is insured to practice and accredited with a recognised membership body online here.
Symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa
Following are some warning signs that could indicate that a person suffers from Bulimia Nervosa.
- Consuming very large amounts of food in short sittings. Often this happens in an out of control manner.
- People with Bulimia are very conscious of their weight and appearance. You will find them constantly obsessing over their looks and how they fear weight changes and distortions in their body shapes.
- They are often secretive about their eating habits. Bulimic people, most of the time eat food when no one else is looking.
- Periods of binging are soon followed by periods of purging. They may use any extreme measure to excrete their food whether through vomiting or using laxatives. They may even abuse medications that help them get rid of the food they just ate.
- Habits such as excessive exercising or a preoccupation with laxatives.
- Unusual disappearances of food from your home.
- Heartburn, indigestion, and bloating.
- Swollen glands in neck and face.
- Weakness, exhaustion and bloodshot eyes.
- Spending irregular amounts of time in the bathroom or at the gym for their purging periods.
These symptoms may not be easy to detect as people with bulimia are very concerned about their appearance and don’t want others to know their habits. Cues such as preoccupation with physical appearance and unusual activities such as the use of laxatives and vomiting often can be signs that your loved one is going through an eating disorder.
Causes of Bulimia Nervosa
There are no specific reasons for developing Bulimia. But these factors can count for why people may become Bulimic.
- You have a family history of people with Bulimia, Depression, drug abuse, or any other sort of mental illness.
- Damaging mindsets such as all-or-nothing thinking, emotional reasoning problems, must-have mentality, and labeling yourself critically for having changes in your weight.
- Facing harsh criticism for eating habits, physical appearance or body weight.
- You face societal pressure to be slim. Occupations such as models, dancers, and ballet dancers may also require you to be slim.
- Suffering from anxiety, low self-esteem or perfectionism can also cause someone to become obsessed with their body image.
- Sexual abuse or physical violence in the past.
Treatments for Bulimia
Often therapy is one form of treatment that is primarily used for treating bulimia. It is important to note that Bulimia may take a good amount of time to recover, but with proper guidance, treatment is possible.
You will require both working with professional and self-help tips to overcome this habit.
In a guided help program you use self-help books and professional guidance from a therapist to resolve your negative eating habits. It involves:
- Monitoring what and how you eat so you can notice irregular habits.
- Making realistic meal plans and eating particular amounts at particular times.
- Learning about your triggers that make you want to launch into binging and then purging.
- Identifying the root causes of your disorder.
- Learning other coping mechanisms to deal with your emotions.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
When it comes to therapeutic interventions, CBT is another excellent approach to help you correct your thinking. In CBT, you identify your problematic behaviors and distortions in thinking. What kind of thoughts is pushing me towards such behaviors in the first place? Is it your insecurities, some false beliefs about how you should be? Societal pressure?
You learn to identify your triggers and either stay away from them or learn healthy ways to confront them without going into a binging-purging cycle. You will learn to tolerate your unpleasant feelings.
Whatever your causes may be, you learn to understand these thinking patterns and reform them to healthy and much rational ones. You initially work with a therapist and over the course of sessions, they may teach you different techniques that you can later use on your own. It takes time and effort, but with proper guidance, you learn to correct yourself.
Bulimia can seriously harm your body and quality of life. If you feel like you or some of your loved one is going through Bulimia, you should discuss this and seek a mental health professional immediately. In cases of extremes, Bulimia can also cause permanent damages and even death. Seeking support can not only help you be healthy but avoid fatal injuries and live a healthier and better life.
Further Readings on Bulimia
About Expat Therapy 4U
Expat Therapy 4U is the result of 5 years’ experience running The International Psychology Clinic, the first private therapy service based in London specialized in multilingual and multicultural therapy.
The platform is run by Dr Martina Paglia. Dr Martina is a leading dual qualified Clinical and Counselling psychologist who helps patients by providing bespoke psychological services including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling and Psychotherapy in London and online worldwide.
Our network comprises highly qualified and experienced private therapists who have made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of expats worldwide. All members of our community are highly experienced working in cross-cultural environments.
We are passionate about delivering first-class patient-centred, safe and effective care. If you would like to work with a warm, inclusive, caring and professional English-speaking therapist in Europe or online worldwide you have come to the right place.
If you are looking for the perfect expat Therapist in Europe or online worldwide, our team is dedicated to help you find your best match. We offer a client guarantee where clients can re-book with a different therapist if they are not satisfied with their first therapy session.
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