What is bulimia?
Bulimia is a pure addiction to the chemicals released into the person’s body when binging. When a bulimic overwhelms the system with a tremendous amount of calories, all sorts of chemicals and hormones (endorphin, serotonin, dopamine etc.) get released into the system.
And as soon as the food is purged, all these chemicals have a free run through the system because there is nothing else for them to do.
The roots and causes of bulimia can be traced back to family neglect.
There are these patterns of food and anxiety around food that get established OR neutralised at the early age.
We still see today people that are obsessed with food in terms of controlling it or managing how the family processes food. Mothers spend the whole day preparing food and expect to see everybody eat it and congratulate her on a great dinner.
The relationship between the mother and the daughter does come into this and is the second piece of the equation. There is a unique pattern that goes between the mother and the daughter in the majority of bulimia cases.
Women in this modern Western society innately know that it is not OK to grow old. The fear of growing old is one of those fears that no one is talking about. As women age, they do everything they can to fight off this ageing process. One of the things we tend to do in our society is to disallow the wisdom of the crone years – even the word crone would set a woman tottering on her nerves.
Though these are really power years when women come into their wisdom, the society disallows women to age in an appropriate way. And hence, a generational envy is born.
When the child moves into her early teens she begins to occupy the place within the family where she is in competition with the mother by interacting with the father in a sort of flirtatious way – which is perfectly normal for her as it is the safest place for her to practice what awaits her in the real world.
The daughter, however, still needs nurturing from the mother, which she doesn’t get.
Such social tendencies are even more present in families where the daughter has 2 brothers. In such cases, the mother will “take the daughter hostage” and prevent her from participating in the family in her own unique way. Since there are all males in the family except for the mother and her daughter, the daughter will often become the mother’s property. She will read her diaries and disallow her any privacy, negatively priming her.
The daughter will try, over and over again, to get back to the mother for the nurturing, but will have a hard time escaping all the negative poison pushed towards her by the mother.
The boys, on the other hand, are given full support by the mother and are allowed to do just about anything. The father is also in a “hostage” position because he cannot cross her too much and take sides with the daughter over his wife, as this frequently results in serious marital problems.
So, on one hand, we have a negative competitive nature of the mother who is attacking the daughter and, on the other side, the daughter’s inability to cope with all this. So what does the daughter do?
She tries to take back some control over her life by going into this addiction.
As simple as this formula sounds, bear in mind that we are talking about a massive undercurrent of negative emotions building up, without the ability to be released in a healthy manner. There is a huge amount of pent-up frustrations (food issues, ageing, controlling mother etc.) which shape the natural family tensions into a boiling point and the bulimia are simply a release mechanism and a way of coping with the crazy amount of tension.
The coping mechanism is to self-medicate, to go for a massive rush that will temporarily swamp out these negative emotions. The process of binging and vomiting releases a rush comparable to taking cocaine, for example, helping the bulimic get rid of the negative emotions temporarily.
Bulimia is a FAMILY issue, so if you are disregarding relationship strategies then you are missing the most important piece of the puzzle.
The dynamic expression would be that the bulimic daughter is internalising or literally EATING this negative energy. These are the typical forces running in the family that go out of control and lead to bulimia.
There are, however, patterns of escalation and warning signs that evolve over time and turn into a fully blown bulimia that no one in the family knows how to deal with. Bulimia is not a typical addiction so it is very hard to spot. Parents usually don’t know what is going on. They just feel that something is up with their daughter but they can’t figure out what it is.
In a covert kind of pattern, the daughter will try to get back at the mother by refusing to nurture. By then, of course, the addiction will have already been in place.
Now, if we take this chaotic family environment and add to it the stress and the pressure going on in the schools today (the trend to rate girls by their appearance), we really have a perfect recipe for bulimia.
We now have a solid basis for understanding this two-fold addiction. The pattern of what motivates the bulimics to indulge in overeating can also pop up in different situations, for ex. drug or alcohol addictions. The addicts are all looking for a relief from the constant nagging, tension and pressure flowing through them constantly, looking to not be themselves for long enough that they don’t have to feel that.
Additionally, bulimia is a group consciousness very popular among young women today, who regard this addiction as something “cool”. Young girls have a tremendous payoff being bulimic during teen years in terms of the physical aspect as well as SAVVY SOCIAL STATUS.
Dangers of Bulimia
Apart from being an emotional addiction, the physical damage that occurs to someone doing bulimia is substantial.
Many teenage girls doing bulimia for a long time have a bone density of a woman of 70. Their bones will have tiny holes in them that can’t be filled back in. In other words, they are getting themselves an early case of osteoporosis.
Their whole bowl is out of order because the food never gets through the system. Bacteria will start to multiply raising chances of colon cancer.
The other thing that goes into complete remission is the reproductive cycle. Any active bulimic will typically lose her period completely due to the serotonin depletion.
As far as the brain is concerned, the bulimics are basically giving themselves a case of Alzheimer. There has been an extensive research on this subject in terms of comparing the brains of Alzheimer patients and bulimia addicts.
Alzheimer patients lose more than 70% of their serotonin through their saliva glands. In a similar way, bulimics lose much of their saliva through vomiting, thus devoiding their brain of serotonin.
Without serotonin, the brain will start to shut down essential bodily functions (ovulation, short-term memory etc.) Not to mention that the bulimics are messing with their heart, blood pressure, leave etc.
One more thing that we need to mention is the body mass index (BMI), which goes in the opposite direction. The body doesn’t really need fat for functioning, but the brain does. So, when we put the body into the starvation mode, the body starts to break down the muscle tissue AND store the fat at the same time. Hence, the term “skinny fat” goes along perfectly with this addiction.
Thankfully, the majority of bulimia addicts are young girls. And because of their youthful self, their body, even if given half a chance, is going to move towards recovery quickly.
Now that you know what bulimia is and what causes it, read the second part of this post and learn how you can treat bulimia with hypnosis.