Breaking The Cycle of Bulimia
I have been treating bulimia for nearly 10 years now. I have seen every presentation going. Vomiting, laxatives, compulsive exercise, restriction, bingeing, more purging. There are of course degrees of presentation, but everyone who comes to see me with bulimia is stuck. Somewhere, somehow in their life, purging became a way to cope. It was the best solution at that time they could find to feel better.
Losing weight, building self-esteem, distracting themselves from life, from feelings – bulimia was a way of surviving in the world. The positive comments when you start losing weight and the increasing self-esteem can get people hooked. And that is where the problem lies, their emotional world and food world have become enmeshed. One becomes contingent on the other. To feel better, behaviours of bingeing and purging become contingent.
So how do you break the cycle of bulimia. Well, there are techniques which can be taught to break this contingency. Pattern interrupt interventions like Response Delay can help someone cope with their feelings following a binge, their body sensations, so they can cope with their discomfort. Breathing and mindfulness techniques are essential here.
Of course nutrition plays a major part in breaking the cycle of bulimia. Balancing blood sugar levels and brain chemistry will reduce the urges and cravings for sugary danger foods that can lead to a binge.
We also need to work with faulty cognition. Unhelpful thoughts, beliefs and food rules that keep us stuck.
Once the above areas are settled then the most important work can be done. Exploring the relational and emotional needs that are not being met in life, and finding how these can be met.
At WeightMatters we do both short-term symptom relief for bulimia and longer term psychotherapy to untangle what for many has been stuck for a long time. Our group work brings a collective learning and growth experience.
My workshop ‘Breaking The Cycle of Bulimia’ is on Saturday 31st May 2014 – you can find details here
Please contact us so we can help you recover from your bulimia
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