bulimia-cure.com

Shame is one of the roots of anorexia and bulimia.

January 11, 2011 – 1:30 am

Shame plays an important role in developing eating disorders because shame is a controlling device. Basically all people with anorexia or bulimia can recall being shamed or ashamed several times before their disorder began.

Shame is complex. It extends from small things like parents or teachers saying to someone that she/he is a bit overweight and needs to lose weight, or to something more serious like physical or sexual assault. For a young vulnerable person even a wrong look or an inappropriate comment can be shameful and it can trigger control mechanisms in the brain.

The simplest and most available thing that the shamed person has to exert control over is food. Restrictive eating or binging on food and then purge it all up is an action that only the person who is doing it can control. Plus it gives to the sufferer the intimate sense of achievement and conquering their own body. But there is a catch 22, externally the sufferer keeps it a secret because if it was revealed it will be a shameful action if someone was to discover their secret.

So, feelings of shame start working on the sufferer even before the beginning of their illness.  Shame makes the person shrink her/his inner self and avoid others in order to stop interpersonal humiliation. Shame produces resentment, irritability, tendency to blame everyone, suspiciousness and bouts of agitations. Shame also blocks the person’s emotions and makes the person unable to be compassionate to others.

Often family and parents themselves promote shame unknowingly. On different stages of development many children feel inadequate in many tasks. Some parents by criticizing, comparing their children with other kids and controlling them can evoke a lot of shame in their sons and daughters.

Other parental behaviors and styles that provoke shame and body images issues are:

–       avoiding children and avoiding to feel and respond to their emotions

–       being judgmental

–       being constantly angry and disapproving

–       expecting children to please

–       defensive parental attitude

–       being depressed and anxious

–       acting as a victim in front of children

–       being indirect

Turning to food becomes a substitute for non realized emotions in many children. Their mind is searching for a coping mechanism to ease their emotions and food is an easy outlet to find.

For this reason a big part of eating disorder treatment is working on understanding the impact of shame and how to counteract it. The best antidote for shame is compassion, love and understanding. This has to be understood by the sufferer, family and all the people who interact with the sufferer.

The second step is to change the person’s self-talk from negative feelings towards food, to positive feelings about food. These both are important steps in the sufferer’s recovery and have to be done with the help of the whole family and not just with the sufferer.

This may not be an easy thing to do if the family does not understand exactly what to do to help. But luckily there is help available; you can read more at www.mom-please-help.com

Short term effects of bulimia.

January 2, 2011 – 1:47 am

People often ask me about different side effects of bulimia: about short term, long term and the most dangerous ones.  This article is about short term effects which appear soon after bulimia begins.
 
People are also interested if the short term effects are 100% reversible or not. Well, probably most of the short term bulimia effects are reversible but it is also depends on the intensity of the bulimia.

It is also depends on association with other medical and psychological problems the person as at the time they start being bulimic. So, I would say it is all down to the individual and for many people the short term effects are 100%reversable when they stop their bulimia. But there are some people who can have irreversible damage.

Now, let’s look at them – short term effects.
 
1. Digestive system suffers because of vomiting. People experience bloating, indigestion, bad taste in the mouth, breath smells, pains and aches in the stomach, reflux, heart burn and nausea.

2. Swallowing can be painful if throat gets damaged while vomiting.

3. Teeth get eroded quickly from the acid during and after vomiting.

4. Heart problems can become obvious especially in people who purge often.
 
5. Constipation is a common concern in bulimics. It can become complicated with haemorrhoids and tears.
 
6. Low body temperature which makes people sensitive to cold weather. Bulimics are cold most of the time.

7. Tendency to faint.
 
8. Mood swings and intolerance to mental pressure.

9. Getting tired quickly and the inability to concentrate. Even simple mental tasks like reading can make some bulimics tired and even exhausted. Studying and learning can become problematic also.

10. Muscular tension can bring a lot of suffering. It appears as back pains, neck pains, tension headaches and aches or pains in other parts of the body.

11. Depression and anxiety can be very severe. The more people think and act bulimic the more depressed they become.

12. Dry skin is the problem too, accompanied by brittle hair and weak nails. Skin problems can be noticeable on sufferer’s hands especially. Knuckles can be damaged when they induce vomiting. One quick way to see if a loved one is bulimic check their knuckles, they will be all hard and wrinkled.

13. The Immune system can suffer making a person vulnerable to many infections. They experience colds and flu often.

14. People become withdrawn and avoid others.
 
15. Stress levels increases significantly.
 
16. Insomnia is common due to increased stress.

17. Distorted thoughts: constantly thinking about food, even dreaming about it.

18. Menstrual problems can range from painful periods to absence of periods.

19. Bone density decreases. Osteoporosis in severe cases of bulimia.

20. Voice changes due to damaged vocal cords.

These are the most common short term bulimia side effects. There are many more and people get affected by bulimia differently. All side effects can turn into dangerous complications. So the best way to prevent them is to stop your bulimia all together.

 You can always start looking for help: read more about it, educate yourself, ask professionals, work on changing your psychology, change behavioural pattern etc. Never give up and never take the side of disease.

To read more about dangerous side effects of bulimia go to http://www.eating-disorders-books.com