0

votes

help me!! im bulimic and can't get better

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 26, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Hi. Im 21 years old and have been battling bulimia since i was 15.

i go through phases of either throwing up everything i eat or just the "bad" stuff i eat. i also go through phases of exercising and eating right and feeling good about myself, but i always turn back to my bad ways. This phase has been going on for about a year now.. and i feel like i can't turn it around anymore.... its starting to scare me that ill never get better.

How can I help myself without getting therepy? any help would be awesome

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 27, 2012
at 03:15 PM

At age 21 the counseling will likely be free. I never paid for counseling when I was younger. If you are a student you can get it at school or they can tell you where to get it out in the community. There are hotlines that can tell you where to get sliding scale counseling if you aren't in school. Sliding scale means you don't pay if you can't afford it, or you pay only a little bit if you can afford a little bit. When you are poor it pays to use the resources available to you as a poor person.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on June 27, 2012
at 11:31 AM

This is not an ED forum, but a place to exchange questions and answers on the paleo diet/lifestyle. Like Jenny said, please check out the resources on the web and in your local community for eating disorders.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on June 27, 2012
at 06:02 AM

I guess it depends what country you live in too- I know a friend that sees a therapist for $150/hour, but also did a two month 8 hr a day outpatient treatment for eating disorders for zero dollars through the health care system. I went to free group therapy and a free counselor (who was the best, super amazing and supportive) through my uni. Options depend on the country, area, health care system etc.

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on June 27, 2012
at 04:25 AM

It's not as simple as "u can afford all the food, so you can afford the counseling" thats' like telling an alcoholic "if you can afford to drink you can counseling"

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on June 27, 2012
at 02:10 AM

Eating disorders are more than just the food. Please seek help. Inquire into programs at local community centers, hospitals, universities, and look online.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on June 27, 2012
at 02:08 AM

There are also monitered online groups that you can participate in, but I would very strongly recommend getting into some kind of human-on-human contact to help this, whether it be in a group or one-on-one basis.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on June 27, 2012
at 02:07 AM

If you are in university or near a community center, there are usually lots of free support groups available. Good place to start.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 27, 2012
at 01:28 AM

You're not going to help yourself. What makes you think you can now when you couldn't for the past 6 years? You need to be in therapy.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 27, 2012
at 12:45 AM

You can afford all the food, so you can afford the counseling. Much of it is sliding scale anyway so there is always a way to afford it.

B4599ac7701bf8de3cf5ae05b0562918

(40)

on June 27, 2012
at 12:08 AM

atleast for now you should really see if theres a free counciling service that you could go to

B4599ac7701bf8de3cf5ae05b0562918

(40)

on June 27, 2012
at 12:07 AM

depending on where you live, if you go to your gp, they can create a mental health plan, you so receive about 50% back

A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on June 27, 2012
at 12:04 AM

How long have you been following the paleo diet?

282980cacbde289f2d213a17189c34f5

(3)

on June 27, 2012
at 12:01 AM

i dont have the money for one... i would love one cuz i know it is the only way for help...i feel helpless

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15 Answers

13
46c9fbd45b82453f6a2dfe614a853314

on June 26, 2012
at 11:42 PM

I strongly advise seeking some outside help. Whether it is a support group, a therapist, or just talking to a trusted family member or friend - they may provide the support and confidence you need to kick it!

4
E2db1519690001648433e8109eb2c013

on June 27, 2012
at 11:17 PM

Look for a group of like-minded, like-troubled people. OA has been mentioned, there may be others you can get to. This is NOT 'therapy.' Bonding together, as equals, with other people in your situation gives you the ability to act in your own best interest more consistantly than anyone can by themselves.

You may note from my alias that I am speaking from experience. By myself, I could not 'not drink' for a single day, in association with others I haven't needed a drink since 1988.

4
F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on June 27, 2012
at 12:50 AM

PLEASE GET TREATMENT. You can SO get beat this (I did), but it's not like a bad habit you need to break, it's a mental illness. Please look for any treatment options in your community. There are also CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) workbooks you can work through on your own.

This website is a good resource

http://www.something-fishy.org/

4
15b482fb13aab3e8eea76d66732439cb

(120)

on June 27, 2012
at 12:46 AM

I would suggest getting to an OA meeting. While I have the other side of the disease, and have lost 204 lbs, it's for everone with eating disorders.

The bulimics, anarexics and overweight overeaters are all branches of the same tree.

4
B4599ac7701bf8de3cf5ae05b0562918

on June 26, 2012
at 11:55 PM

I don't know why you wouldn't want a therapist, I have one and im recovering from Anorexia. I wouldn't have been able to get where i'm up to now if it wasn't for my therapist. Try to find one which specializes in eating disorders. Do yourself a favor and get some help, it sucks to suffer.

B4599ac7701bf8de3cf5ae05b0562918

(40)

on June 27, 2012
at 12:08 AM

atleast for now you should really see if theres a free counciling service that you could go to

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on June 27, 2012
at 04:25 AM

It's not as simple as "u can afford all the food, so you can afford the counseling" thats' like telling an alcoholic "if you can afford to drink you can counseling"

282980cacbde289f2d213a17189c34f5

(3)

on June 27, 2012
at 12:01 AM

i dont have the money for one... i would love one cuz i know it is the only way for help...i feel helpless

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on June 27, 2012
at 02:08 AM

There are also monitered online groups that you can participate in, but I would very strongly recommend getting into some kind of human-on-human contact to help this, whether it be in a group or one-on-one basis.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 27, 2012
at 03:15 PM

At age 21 the counseling will likely be free. I never paid for counseling when I was younger. If you are a student you can get it at school or they can tell you where to get it out in the community. There are hotlines that can tell you where to get sliding scale counseling if you aren't in school. Sliding scale means you don't pay if you can't afford it, or you pay only a little bit if you can afford a little bit. When you are poor it pays to use the resources available to you as a poor person.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 27, 2012
at 12:45 AM

You can afford all the food, so you can afford the counseling. Much of it is sliding scale anyway so there is always a way to afford it.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on June 27, 2012
at 02:07 AM

If you are in university or near a community center, there are usually lots of free support groups available. Good place to start.

B4599ac7701bf8de3cf5ae05b0562918

(40)

on June 27, 2012
at 12:07 AM

depending on where you live, if you go to your gp, they can create a mental health plan, you so receive about 50% back

2
83cf3d88c8097e914462146a324626a5

on June 27, 2012
at 01:45 AM

If you happen to be a college student, your institution (nonprofit) should offer counseling as part of your tuition.

You have to figure out what triggers your binges. Typically, people with bulimia feel like there is something they are unable to control in their lives and rather than painfully dealing with the issue, they turn to food.

1
E4d60021f486404f53de32250b8375d6

(110)

on June 27, 2012
at 12:16 PM

One suggestion that helped me was writing. I know your story very well, I was in the same place as you for 6 years. I started the GAPS diet and I started writing and I've never been as happy or as healthy in my entire life. Not to mention I have been able to COMPLETELY control an eating disorder that haunted me for way too long.

1
E45c5a1c8df73da5e03bb6e7e90f8420

(644)

on June 27, 2012
at 04:37 AM

For everyone saying get a therapist- they are expensive- mine is $200 an hour! (Though it is true you may be able to find a helpful counselor through your school if you are a college student). Also, most conventional therapists would classify you and put you on drugs- NOT helpful. What you need is a healer, someone to help you learn how to love yourself and understand why you currently don't.

I have never been bulimic but struggled with self-harming issues for years (which therapists often group in with eating disorders) so I understand how hard it is to leave this behavior/need/addiction behind. You say that there are periods where you go without it and eat healthy and treat your body well, and this is a GREAT start!!!! Trust me, that is the first step. Relapsing is inevitable until you come to a point where your love for yourself outweighs the impulse/desire to binge/throw up.

This happened very gradually for me- it started as I learned about nutrition and how my body works, what I need to be healthy, and how food is good and necessary. From there I got into yoga, and meditation and read a host of self-help books the best one being YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE by Louise Hay. GET THAT BOOK! You can get it on Amazon for $10. Also, get the You Can Heal Your Life Companion book and do the exercises in it, they are so incredibly helpful. Most self-help books containing valuable information, but never really drastically altered my life. This book did. It taught me so much and I've come to a point where self-harming simply does not work for me anymore (as you can come to this point where binging/throwing up just will not produce its usual effects). Sometimes I still struggle when I am feeling very low, but I now have ways to curb the desire and I also just know that it will make me feel worse if I do it- so I don't and instead I try to treat myself as I would a little child- with love and compassion.

Trust me, you can heal and you have the capacity to overcome this. I never thought I would get better- but I am SUCH a different person today than I was years ago.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on June 27, 2012
at 06:02 AM

I guess it depends what country you live in too- I know a friend that sees a therapist for $150/hour, but also did a two month 8 hr a day outpatient treatment for eating disorders for zero dollars through the health care system. I went to free group therapy and a free counselor (who was the best, super amazing and supportive) through my uni. Options depend on the country, area, health care system etc.

0
Ca9a65154cc01f8d3f8677de5aad7693

on December 29, 2013
at 09:08 PM

If you Search for bulimia treatment , I am sure that you find what do you search in this blog : Bulimia Tips

0
Ca9a65154cc01f8d3f8677de5aad7693

on December 29, 2013
at 09:08 PM

If you Search for bulimia treatment , I am sure that you find what do you search in this blog : Bulimia Tips

0
0f8f77156cd0667d43194fc4b8bc3b5d

on September 13, 2013
at 04:36 AM

Are you staying completely away from gluten, and have you tried zinc and a B-complex to help with the urge to purge?

http://casapalmera.com/7-secrets-to-recover-from-bulimia/

0
Medium avatar

on September 12, 2013
at 10:41 AM

Hey @Che. I have never been bulimic nor can I advise whether the situation I'll describe will work for your situation but what I can say is that I've watched my best friend overcome a lifetime of bulimia and depression using the Paleo diet. She has not purged in 6 months and although it is still early days, she believes she has now beaten the disease. Perhaps if nothing else, maybe this will serve as an inspiration to keep fighting and keep trying, a day at a time.

My friend has battled with this her whole life and to the extent where she had to spend a period of of time in a psychiatric facility, in order to save her life.

Although there is limited proof for this, I strongly believed that by going Paleo, the unknown benefits of a mitochondrial balance within her brain as well as an optimised hormone and enzyme function in her body could help her. Or at the very least, not make things any worse.

It wasn't a ruthless "cutting out" of all non-Paleo foods because I came to understand that my friend has some crucial relationships with certain foods and drinks and breaking these relationships too aggressively could create a lot of psychological turmoil, far more than in the average western high-grain eating person.

I need to also say that because of some of these compromises, my friend has not lost much weight BUT crucially in this context, that is a very secondary concern. There have been ups and downs through this process and in the beginning there was a lot of resistance, as well as a number of slips. I should also say that she has a new psychologist (who she relates to better) and psychiatrist (who has changed her medication with great effect). I strongly advise that you find a way to speak to someone. I understand that money is tight but the diet, combined with counselling and medication seems to have been the best combination for her.

I'll tell you how we approached it now but what my friend has said is that going Paleo has completely changed her psychological relationship with food. She used to perceive it as an enemy that formed part of a complex mental rule structure through which her self-validation and perceptions from others were gauged. She also believed that she deserved to be punished and had a tremendously low self-esteem (which is the root of her condition) and food was her vehicle for that punishment. She says that now for the first time in her life she actually enjoys eating something, can make food requests around others and can even comment on something she likes or dislikes about a meal without fearing judgement. As her food-is-the-enemy mentality changed, so did her need to punish herself using that food.

It seems that the effect the Paleo diet has on her body as well as her brain, has allowed her to mind to reach new conclusions which are driving bulimia out of her life. New, better medication has also given her better impulse control which combined with better functioning hormones, has made her action to purge or not more of a choice. It's no longer out of her control.

Here is how we approached it:

  • Core attachment items were kept including a cup of milo (a chocolaty warm drink) every night before bed as well as quite a few cups of sugary tea each day (6-7). The tea and milo give her a sense of calm and were seen as a place of peace. Removing them would have been a bad idea.
  • All fruit was removed from her diet. This seemed like the best compromise in terms of removing sugar, initially at least.
  • Over the course of a month, we incorporated hard-boiled eggs with cooked spinach (in coconut oil) into breakfast every morning. This was initially quite a tough sell, especially the coconut oil because as she made me understand, coconut oil is often used as a purge trigger. Also I spent a lot of time convincing her of the "saturated fat isn't bad" argument and the carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis (carbohydrates raise glucose level, glucose raises insulin, insulin make body store more fat and use less for fuel hence: we don't get fat because we overeat, we overeat because we get fat). This was crucial because in order for her to accept the Paleo diet, her negative perception of fat and meat had to be broken down as well as her understanding of what makes one overweight.
  • She started drinking a juice made from green superfoods every morning (wheat grass, hemp powder, moringa leaf, spirulina and honey - available as a powder, just add water and honey. We live in South Africa so used this one, I'm sure you have something similar whereever you are in the world http://www.rawlicious.co.za/greenshake200g.html)
  • Alcohol and her smoking was not stopped. Again this would have been too much change and it seemed like a step too far. In time she will stop smoking and drink less but for now, its ok.
  • Refined carbohydrates were aggressive cut except for a pasta once or twice a week. Like the milo and sugary tea, this was a place of solace and needed to stay in her diet while she broke down other barriers.
  • Her meals often weren't balanced throughout the day as her work and life allowed little time for preparation so we started creating Paleo meals suitable for lunches and dinner in bulk. We would prepare one-pot type dishes which could then be used for dinner and a number of lunches throughout the week. Things like beef stew with a bunch of veggies, herbs and spices were made and divided into lunches so that she wouldn't have to think about what to make. We also made large salads on the weekend which could then be divided for each day. This made things simple and enforced routine.
  • So her breakfasts were eggs, spinach and some avo, her lunches were left over stew or chicken/tuna salads and her dinner was more stews or chicken/meat/pork with a bunch of steamed veggies (usually broccoli and cauliflower) with avocado oil thrown over. Yes it was repetitive but as I came to learn, ritual is crucial to someone who is bulimic. Her bulimia in itself was a type of negative psychological ritual which needed to be broken down and replaced by a more positive one. As things began to improve, she got more confidence in the process which in turn positively reinforced the ritual. It's a positive self-fulfilling prophecy that allowed her to grow her confidence in her ability to "look after herself", which was something her bulimia had robbed her of.
  • For snacks she had almonds, goji berries, pumpkin and flax seeds mixed together which she'd nibble on throughout the day.
  • She also started drinking 1.5L of water a day.
  • Separate from the diet, she started journaling and painting as a mean of expressing her emotions and separating herself from her thoughts.
  • I also gave her some self-help books, specifically The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and she did a self-esteem course, http://www.theselfesteemsystem.com/1/, ignore all the salesy speak, its a great course, i've done it too and it was life changing.
The battle isn't won't yet but both of us believe that it will be. There is obviously more to this than what I can verbalise here as its quite difficult to describe this linearly but if you would like to know more, please let me know.

I hope you can take something out of this.

0
Medium avatar

on September 12, 2013
at 10:40 AM

Hey @Che. I have never been bulimic nor can I advise whether the situation I'll describe will work for your situation but what I can say is that I've watched my best friend overcome a lifetime of bulimia and depression using the Paleo diet. She has not purged in 6 months and although it is still early days, she believes she has now beaten the disease. Perhaps if nothing else, maybe this will serve as an inspiration to keep fighting and keep trying, a day at a time.

My friend has battled with this her whole life and to the extent where she had to spend a period of of time in a psychiatric facility, in order to save her life.

Although there is limited proof for this, I strongly believed that by going Paleo, the unknown benefits of a mitochondrial balance within her brain as well as an optimised hormone and enzyme function in her body could help her. Or at the very least, not make things any worse.

It wasn't a ruthless "cutting out" of all non-Paleo foods because I came to understand that my friend has some crucial relationships with certain foods and drinks and breaking these relationships too aggressively could create a lot of psychological turmoil, far more than in the average western high-grain eating person.

I need to also say that because of some of these compromises, my friend has not lost much weight BUT crucially in this context, that is a very secondary concern. There have been ups and downs through this process and in the beginning there was a lot of resistance, as well as a number of slips. I should also say that she has a new psychologist (who she relates to better) and psychiatrist (who has changed her medication with great effect). I strongly advise that you find a way to speak to someone. I understand that money is tight but the diet, combined with counselling and medication seems to have been the best combination for her.

I'll tell you how we approached it now but what my friend has said is that going Paleo has completely changed her psychological relationship with food. She used to perceive it as an enemy that formed part of a complex mental rule structure through which her self-validation and perceptions from others were gauged. She also believed that she deserved to be punished and had a tremendously low self-esteem (which is the root of her condition) and food was her vehicle for that punishment. She says that now for the first time in her life she actually enjoys eating something, can make food requests around others and can even comment on something she likes or dislikes about a meal without fearing judgement. As her food-is-the-enemy mentality changed, so did her need to punish herself using that food.

It seems that the effect the Paleo diet has on her body as well as her brain, has allowed her to mind to reach new conclusions which are driving bulimia out of her life. New, better medication has also given her better impulse control which combined with better functioning hormones, has made her action to purge or not, more of a choice. It's no longer out of her control.

Here is how we approached it:

  • Core attachment items were kept including a cup of milo (a chocolaty warm drink) every night before bed as well as quite a few cups of sugary tea each day (6-7). The tea and milo give her a sense of calm and were seen as a place of peace. Removing them would have been a bad idea.
  • All fruit was removed from her diet. This seemed like the best compromise in terms of removing sugar, initially at least.
  • Over the course of a month, we incorporated hard-boiled eggs with cooked spinach (in coconut oil) into breakfast every morning. This was initially quite a tough sell, especially the coconut oil because as she made me understand, coconut oil is often used as a purge trigger. Also I spent a lot of time convincing her of the "saturated fat isn't bad" argument and the carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis (carbohydrates raise glucose level, glucose raises insulin, insulin make body store more fat and use less for fuel hence: we don't get fat because we overeat, we overeat because we get fat). This was crucial because in order for her to accept the Paleo diet, her negative perception of fat and meat had to be broken down as well as her understanding of what makes one overweight.
  • She started drinking a juice made from green superfoods every morning (wheat grass, hemp powder, moringa leaf, spirulina and honey - available as a powder, just add water and honey. We live in South Africa so used this one, I'm sure you have something similar whereever you are in the world http://www.rawlicious.co.za/greenshake200g.html)
  • Alcohol and her smoking was not stopped. Again this would have been too much change and it seemed like a step too far. In time she will stop smoking and drink less but for now, its ok.
  • Refined carbohydrates were aggressive cut except for a pasta once or twice a week. Like the milo and sugary tea, this was a place of solace and needed to stay in her diet while she broke down other barriers.
  • Her meals often weren't balanced throughout the day as her work and life allowed little time for preparation so we started creating Paleo meals suitable for lunches and dinner in bulk. We would prepare one-pot type dishes which could then be used for dinner and a number of lunches throughout the week. Things like beef stew with a bunch of veggies, herbs and spices were made and divided into lunches so that she wouldn't have to think about what to make. We also made large salads on the weekend which could then be divided for each day. This made things simple and enforced routine.
  • So her breakfasts were eggs, spinach and some avo, her lunches were left over stew or chicken/tuna salads and her dinner was more stews or chicken/meat/pork with a bunch of steamed veggies (usually broccoli and cauliflower) with avocado oil thrown over. Yes it was repetitive but as I came to learn, ritual is crucial to someone who is bulimic. Her bulimia in itself was a type of negative psychological ritual which needed to be broken down and replaced by a more positive one. As things began to improve, she got more confidence in the process which in turn positively reinforced the ritual. It's a positive self-fulfilling prophecy that allowed her to grow her confidence in her ability to "look after herself", which was something her bulimia had robbed her of.
  • For snacks she had almonds, goji berries, pumpkin and flax seeds mixed together which she'd nibble on throughout the day.
  • She also started drinking 1.5L of water a day.
  • Separate from the diet, she started journaling and painting as a mean of expressing her emotions and separating herself from her thoughts.
  • I also gave her some self-help books, specifically The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and she did a self-esteem course, http://www.theselfesteemsystem.com/1/, ignore all the salesy speak, its a great course, i've done it too and it was life changing.
The battle isn't won yet but both of us believe that it will be. There is obviously more to this than what I can verbalise here as its quite difficult to describe this linearly but if you would like to know more, please let me know. I hope you can take something out of this.

0
Medium avatar

on September 12, 2013
at 05:05 AM

Hey there I use to have the same exact issue with my recovery! Id do well for a week & then all of sudden id get off track and have a week of purging and just going back and forth. Ive only Been Paleo for about 3 weeks but I havent purged since i started! This is the longest i have ever gone so ive been quite pleased. I still binge every now and then (on Paleo foods) but some how i can easily fight off the urge to purge. I try to remind myself what I ate was good for my body even if I over ate and that i know if i purge I'm just going to fall back and ive come so far i just dont want to mess up my good streak!

I use to see a therapist and all though i really liked her i just didnt find it helpful. I find researching and learning myself seems to help. Also running! on days i don't do my 30 min jog it just messes my flow . Running makes me feel so good and is just the right amount for me i think.

Everyone is different when it comes to recovery though. I wish you best of luck and please feel free to contact me when ever you need :)

0
05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on June 27, 2012
at 06:31 AM

IF you want to heal yourself by yourself on the cheap, learn NLP and meditation. download all the audiotapes, etc. this will not be easy, but it will improve your life if you practice. then you can work your way up to affording a good therapist or counselor on an ongoing basis if that's what you choose to do.

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