Thursday, December 1, 2011

Eating Disorders: Bulimia

By: Clarence Parler

         There are many eating disorders that not only Americans are suffering from but nearly any place you look in the world. Anorexia, Bulimia and compulsive overeating, binge eating, just to name a few, are some of the most common problems people with eating disorders suffer from. For those unfamiliar, Bulimia (binge- purge syndrome) is a habitual disturbance in eating behavior mostly affecting young women of normal weight. It is characterized by excessive frequent intake of food followed by self induced vomiting to avoid weight gain.

          While some will look at eating disorders as merely silly or another form of extreme dieting, this in fact is a real and relevant illness. I myself may have looked at Bulimia as a silly sickness. I looked at it like people don't want to gain weight so they make sure they don't digest all the food they have consumed, and make themselves throw it up. As simple as it may sound, self induced vomiting is very simple in theory, but when you think of the reasons why people are doing it you may view things a little different.

          After doing a little bit of research, I learned that many of the women suffering from eating disorders directly attribute their illness to some form of trauma they may have suffered form. Racism, sexual abuse, poverty, sexism, emotional or physical abuse, heterosexism, class injuries, and acculturation. Eating disorders do not really vary based on race class, race, nationality, or sexuality, it can effect anyone.

          To get a little more specific, sex abuse is one of the most common trauma that women attribute the origin of their eating disorder. According to Becky W. Thompson, author of Cultural Obsession with Thinness, " results of a number of incidence studies indicate that between 1/3 to 2/3 of women who have eating problems have been abused. Binging was the most common method of coping identified by the survivors. Binging helped numb out their feelings. Eating sedated, alleviated anxiety, and combated loneliness. Food was something that they trust and was accessible whenever they needed".

          Eating disorders are not made-up conditions, they are medically recognized and treatable illnesses. It should be taken very serious and if not treated can be fatal. If you suffer from this or know someone who suffers from this, get help.


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