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Difficulty Getting Rid of an Eating Disorder; Cure for Bulimia

Written by: Gunborg Palme, certified psychologist and certified psychotherapist, teacher and tutor in psychotherapy.

First version: 22 Jul 2008. Latest revision: 17 Aug 2008.

Question:

 Why is it so difficult to get rid of an eating disorder? Why is it so difficult to find a cure for bulimia?

Answer:

Those with eating disorders have a confused mixture of feelings. They experience a number of different feelings as a need for food or starvation. Both may be used to remove unpleasant sensations. If they are also under pressure to be slim, the result may be anorexia or bulimia nervosa. They also lack normal awareness of internal signals. If they don't get help to find these, they may become like sober alcoholics, but not basically cured.

In order to remove an eating disorder it is necessary to experience the unpleasant feelings which have been suppressed by overeating or starvation and this can be most unpleasant. It is also necessary to increase awareness of the body's internal signals concerning hunger, satisfaction and other feelings and impressions in order to begin finding constructive solutions instead of gluttony and starvation. This is difficult for a person who e.g. has got used to suppressing feelings by eating junk food. Bulimics often feel hungry after a normal meal. It may take a considerable time for the body to learn to feel certain that it will get regular nutrition and need not believe that every meal is the last.

Starving anorectics can be extremely trying for the personnel when they must learn to eat again. A computer can function better sometimes as it cannot be provoked.

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