I sat there staring in the mirror filled with disgust at the figure on the other end. I thought “ another day, another day living and thinking of nothing else but the way that I look naked, the way I look with clothes on, and the way other people look at me.”
I was 17 years old when I began to have the premature symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa. I was a cheerleader for a national competition squad, and was worried about being able to tumble to my full potential because of the extra weight that I was carrying. But more importantly I was uncomfortable with the way I felt with myself. I had a low self-esteem and was constantly worried about what others thought of me.
I tried many different strategies to lose weight. From starving myself to exercising constantly, nothing was working. I was desperate and wanted nothing else but to lose weight. As I became more and more worried about my weight the more depressed I became. With the onset of depression I started to eat even more. I ate, one day, to the point that I was sick, and felt miserable about myself, so I threw up. Afterward I felt great about myself. I had found some way hat I could control my weight, which in hand was my life. It became a lifeline for me; I was addicted to the feeling of throwing up once a day. The feeling of being hungry was for me happiness; I was disgusted and felt huge physically when I wasn’t hungry. I went from a solid size 12 to a solid size 6 in less than two months. I lost 20 pounds, and still was not happy with myself. I was suprised that no one questioned me or asked how I did it. All I heard was how great I looked.
“1%-3% of adolescent and young adult females develop bulimia,” (Hales, p.250). And the statistics seem to be rising. One theory of why this is happening is that bulimia is influenced by fashion pressures to be thin and the social fixation on the idea of thinness is beauty. This fixation is the same, says John Matthews the author of Eating Disorders, as those suffering from anerexia. There is also an increase in numbers of bulimics due to the social expectance of the disease and the urgency of the disease to be treated.
The awarness of what Bulimia Nervosa is and the symptoms of the disease are becoming more common place in our society....
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...an Psychiatric Association, is 90% female, more likely white in race, and is from a more industrialized country, for example the United States, Canada, Europe, or Australia.
Individuals with Bulimia Nervosa have been compared to those who suffer from alcoholism. We both encounter the day to day battles to stay healthy and not relapse. We both learn to talk about our problem to others whether it is a group such as AA, or in my case with my family. An individual with Bulimia Nervosa needs support just as an individual with alcoholism.
The help that is out there is enormous for any individual suffering with the battle of an eating disorder. The problem is not the availability of help; it is we as a society. We need to become more comfortable talking about the symptoms of the individual with the eating disorder, and the different ways to over come the disorder. One solution that helped my treatment was the understanding of exercise, and a healthy diet. Sometimes in our busy life’s we forget to teach our children about healthy living, however we have the expectation that they will be perfect on the inside and the outside.
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