Anorexia Bulimia Care
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Am I becoming bulimic?

Hey guys.

I need some advice, i'm becoming concerned that I am on the brink of developing an ED. My mother suffered from bulimia, so really I should be able to talk to her but feel that my family would be somewhat judgmental or wouldn't take me seriously, so I am here basically hoping someone will be able to reach out and help me to identify what is happening to me.

For the last few months I have become obsessive with being slim, calorie counting everything (even cups of tea), but also I feel like my eating is out of my control. I'll feel the overwhelming urge to eat when i know i don't need to, and then after bingeing i feel overwhelmingly guilty about what i've just eaten in such a short amount of time. I feel like i've hit my lowest point today, i ordered food, but after calorie counting i realized that i couldn't eat half of the meal, so i left half of it, but even after that, even though I should feel happy that I've controlled myself, I felt so ashamed of what I had eaten that I was nearly physically sick ( i didn't attempt to make myself vomit, I had an overwhelming feeling of wanting to be sick), and now i feel worse than ever, rather emotional if i'm being honest.

I hope someone can help,

Thank you in advance <3

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Hello!

It is good that you are able to express what is happening on the forum.

Firstly, I want to stress that I am not an expert and can only speak based on personal experience.

I say you should definitely go to a GP and explain what is happening. You may feel reluctant. However, I think referrals often take six months ish depending on where you live. On the one hand, you may feel better and not need help. On the other hand, you may feel worse. If you feel better then no harm done. You can just cancel the appointment. However having that there just in case helps.

Also, it sounds like eating is problematic for you. Please don't push this aside because it is very important. With having problems with drugs or alcohol, you can learn to live without it, but food is so much more complex. Also, it is something that will affect you a lot because every meal becomes a problem so any discomfort or distress is a big deal.

Something else to note is that ED is a bit subtle. I remember I started off missing a meal, counting calories, eating too little without realising, rapidly losing weight and focused on health stuff. I did not initially think it was a problem but without even realising, I was in a restrict-binge pattern. Therefore, you may want to disregard how you are feeling, but it is important.

Also you may feel like people will not take you seriously. However, people may surprise you. I knew some people - aka my parents - would never understand, but I was able to confide in some of my friends and my siblings and it is such a good feeling, having someone who cares about me knowing. If I am honest, they do not understand completely - I've found that mostly, only my friend with an ED and one of my psychology lecturers understand because they have experienced it / learnt about it. However, my friends are opened to learning about it / I tell my friends they do not need to understand, I just want their support which helps a lot.

Good luck! Hope this helps! xx

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Your reply TPepper is great for anyone new to the forum and very helpful. I find it helpful for myself too as I am struggling to see my patterns as a problem most of the time. I agree sarahm93 it's worth seeking support from wherever you can as soon as possible as it can be difficult to access support x

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This does sound quite worrying. It's good that you have recognised this and that it's not normal to feel like this - most people will sometimes eat a little more than perhaps they had planned to, but they often don't think much of it; feelings of guilt and anxiety on this level do sound unhealthy.

And being trapped in a world of calorie counting and obsessing is really bad for your mental health; let alone what it could be doing to your physical health.

Have you considered calling either the ABC helpline or the Beat helpline? They may be able to give you some sources of information or support. Now is the time to do something about it - the earlier the better before it becomes deeply entrenched and it's much harder to return to an ordinary pattern of eating.

You did mention your mother having bulimia; I don't know loads about genetic links in EDs but there is often a higher risk of ED in the offspring of sufferers which is even more reason to tackle this sooner rather than later.

Also if you are still struggling with guilt after what happened today sometimes I have found the following distractions useful: strong hot shower (the sensation of water over my skin stops me focusing on the 'fat' feelings), something soft to touch or cuddle (a dog is perfect but a teddy will do), or one of those adult colouring books?

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Hi. Thank you for your advice. Yes my mother was bulimic along with other mental health issues, which is partially why I am worried. My mental health has been similar to my mother's at times. I will have a think on what you have said and will take it on board. Thanks again x

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Like the other's here - suggest a trip to the GP - you sound as though you need some specialist ED help - problems like this don't go away alone and things spiral out of control very quickly. ABC also has good advice on their website - and they have a helpline you could contact to talk things through. I know from years of experience the problem doesn't go away by itself - its an illness and needs treatment - so please do seek some professional help - which may be hard to access from my experience - but recovery is possible with proper help. Good luck

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I definitely don't think you're alone. You sound logical, you know that you should be proud for not eating more than you felt comfortable, but the fact that you're so stressed by what you ate is definitely not a good sign. It doesn't mean you have an eating disorder, but I think you should work on improving your relationship with food to be happier. And that is so much more easier said than done, I know, and I promise you so many people have been where you are. When my eating disorder started it was about being thin and I would obsessively count calories. Some days I'd eat barely anything and other days it felt like uncontrollable bingeing and I'd feel guilty about it and depressed for days. It's not worth having your life and happiness controlled by what you eat and what you look like, so while I wouldn't say you definitely have an ED, if you think you are getting to that point, you probably are, and should seek help before it spirals out of control, and before it can continue making you unhappy. Hope that helps and good luck <3

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Thank you. I think you've hit the nail on the head there. Sounds just like me xx

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