Some people think of eating disorders as beginning and ending with anorexia, or self-starvation. But eating disorders can look like bulimia, another common type of eating disorder, just as easily.
When you have a bulimic eating disorder, you alternate between binging and purging. Maybe you overeat and then induce vomiting to purge. Or, maybe you cycle between periods of overeating and intense dietary restriction.
No matter what your bulimia looks like, it’s a real problem for your physical and mental health that needs to be taken seriously. That’s why Dr. Ronald P. Winfield and the team of mental health experts at Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates of North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, are here to help with eating disorders.
We provide psychotherapy, counseling, and more mental health services that can support you as you recover from bulimia.
The dangers of bulimia
You often can’t tell if someone is bulimic just by looking at their weight. People who are dealing with bulimia can be underweight, overweight, obese, or normal weight.
But, the size of a person’s body doesn’t let you know what’s going on inside. Living with bulimia takes a real toll on your physical and mental health.
For example, vomiting frequently can damage your esophagus, and increases your risk for throat cancers. And, both overeating and under-eating put your body through stress.
Bulimia harms your mental health, as well. Bulimia often goes hand in hand with low self-esteem, and can contribute to depression. If you have bulimia, you’re likely to be unhealthily fixated on food, your appearance, self-soothing, or a need for control. All of these issues are related to your mental health and can be treated with the right approach.
Signs and symptoms of bulimia
So, how can you tell if you have bulimia? While this disorder can present differently for individuals, common signs and symptoms include:
- Repeated episodes of overeating, accompanied by a sense of loss of control
- Thinking very frequently about your body size and shape
- Intense fear of gaining weight
- Vomiting after eating in order to purge
- Using laxatives, enemas, or diuretics to purge
- Over-exercising or excessively using weight loss products
More severe cases of bulimia mean more frequent and intense symptoms. If you’ve been experiencing these symptoms for at least three months, or you purge at least once a week, you likely have bulimia, and need support and treatment for your eating disorder.
Recovering from bulimia
Once you realize you have an eating disorder, and that the condition is real and serious, you can start taking steps to heal and recover. The team at Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates supports you at every step of your recovery from bulimia.
Your treatment may include talk therapy, nutritional and dietary counseling and education, and check-ins with your support team as you start to improve your self-esteem, your eating habits, and your relationship with food.
Dr. Winfield and the mental health providers at Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates offer nonjudgmental, compassionate eating disorder treatment. You deserve better than to keep living with bulimia. Contact Dr. Winfield today, and start your journey toward healing from eating disorders.
Schedule your first appointment by calling Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates today, or book online.