Generally, there is no easy answer why people become bulimic. Reality is that every individual is unique so are the reasons why they become bulimic and the paths they have to take to overcome it. Bulimia is generally considered to be a psychological and emotional disorder which sometimes coexists with other psychiatric disorders such as depression or obsessive compulsive disorder. Some studies show that it is related to major affective disorder and therefore influenced by heredity and chemical imbalances in the body of the individual. The underlying reasons that most bulimic people give for their eating disorder are however a complex mix of low self-esteem, childhood conflict and cultural pressures. Making psychotherapy and other avenues make it more effective for recovery.
Most families in which emotional, physical or spiritual needs are not met in some way produces most bulimic people. They are mostly the household where feelings are not verbally expressed and communication skills are lacking. It could also be that there is a history of alcoholism, depression, drug abuse or eating disorders. Although food is a good drug, children might unconsciously recognize that escape is the most appropriate thing to do. Bulimic persons are often considered ideal children going out of their way to be people pleasers presenting an acceptable facade that seems to be outgoing, confident and independent while anxious feelings bubble underneath. Eventually, bulimic individuals are valued someone who does not need nurturing, good at taking care of themselves and grow up early. Their being bulimic is their way of expressing what cannot be said directly in words.
Most bulimic persons are preoccupied with eating and diet but that initial binge-purge stage might be triggered by some specific events such as traumatic change in life. Bulimia is especially dangerous and captivating since it is falsely perceived as less dangerous than alcoholism or drug. Food is always there to provide some “fix” likewise gives life, heals, nurtures and means love. Food tends to outweigh any immediate drawbacks as it provides safety, availability, pleasure and companionship. Moreover, nothing gives a bulimic away as the weight usually appears close to normal. Furthermore, bulimic persons tend to be overly judgmental of themselves as well as of others since they have difficulty expressing emotions through language, fear criticism, avoid disagreements and have low self-esteem. They find that their bulimic rituals and thought protect them from the possible rejection, abandonment or other potential pain. Bulimia had become their only companion which apparently prevents them from experiencing deep love form others surrounding their environment. Bulimia seems to be their short-term solution for pain which in long term can be devastating.
Bulimic persons are usually women and adolescent girls although bulimia is also known to appear in the male population. Often, bulimic women suffer from low self-esteem and are quite ashamed of their bingeing and purging patterns thus resulting to denial of the behavior. They often hide the disease remarkably well and may go 10 to 15 years without revealing of their problem. They deal with their guilt over bingeing by exercising obsessively to burn off the calories or take laxatives for days after eating. Many bulimic also suffer from anorexia and will starve themselves between binges. Also, they obsessively talk about food, frequently diet, compulsively exercise and/or eat secretly. Bulimic persons typically do not seek medical advice for bulimia itself.
It is difficult to help bulimic individuals without their willingness to be helped. Yet the truth still remains that it is very significant that you get help for bulimic person. And if the bulimic is willing to help herself, they should then seek the help of a doctor that they feel comfortable with. Equally, it is important that they find a support group and some long-term support to help them maintain their efforts toward recovering from being bulimic.