Becoming bulimic is increasingly seen as a way to become thin

For those obsessed with losing weight, becoming bulimic is increasingly seen as the answer. As with all eating disorders, low self esteem leads the sufferer to focus on the one thing she feels she can control - her body.

Bulimia nervosa is characterized by episodes of binge-eating followed by harmful methods of weight control (purging).

Harmful methods of weight control include vomiting, fasting, enemas, excessive use of laxatives and diuretics, or compulsive exercising.

Bulimia is a facet of anorexia. Not all anorexics are bulimic, but for many suffering from anorexia, becoming bulimic is seen as a way of dealing with the agony of being torn between hunger and the desire to be thin.The natural relief felt in satisfying hunger is accompanied by feelings of guilt and self disgust. The anorexic feels that she has let herself down by eating. So she makes herself sick.The cycle of overeating and purging quickly becomes an obsession and is repeated often.

For the anorexic, becoming bulimic is seen to have another advantage. As long as she is seen to be eating she can deny that she has a problem.Increasing numbers of teenagers are becoming bulimic in an attempt to hide their eating disorder from their parents.

It is not always easy to spot the signs of bulimia, as bulimics as with sufferers of all eating disorders, may be thin, overweight, or a normal weight.

But there are warning signs to look out for. If someone frequently goes to the toilet soon after eating, and spends longer in usual in there, she may be bulimic.Eyes tend to water a lot after being sick, and that's quite hard to hide. Often the time bulimics spend in the bathroom is eye drying time.Knuckles are sometimes a give away - they can become chafed.

As with all eating disorders however, the key thing to look for is unhappiness. All eating disordered people are very good at hiding their eating habits. It is not so easy however, to hide unhappiness, depression or low self esteem. There are many signs of these.

Those with low self esteem find it difficult to handle problems. They are very self critical and often find it difficult to socialize and may become withdrawn. It is difficult for them to try new things or learn new skills and often feel that if they do not do something 'perfectly' it is not worth doing at all.

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