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06 Feb 2003

Serious Problem driving me crazy
Hello Doc

It's taking a lot of guts to type this letter (which I have done a couple of times, but never hit the "send" button).

A bit of history: I have lost just over 30kg in the last year. I have done this the old fashioned way – exercising my butt of and eating healthy. I weigh 70kg now (I'm 25 years old). – So for a 1.74m tall woman with 19% bodyfat, 70kg is absolutely fine. I KNOW THIS! I know that I look better now that I have ever looked. I get compliments all the time. I can see my abdominal muscles and striations on my shoulders! I'm lean and defined.

My problem is this: I'm not happy with myself. I had a hard year and there is some big changes coming up for me in the next couple of weeks (I'm immigrating.) Grrrrrr – lets just get to the point - I started forcing myself to puke every time I eat something I shouldn't!  This happens about 3 times a week – going on for about a month now. I know this is SO bad for me! Not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally. I keep on promising myself that it will not happen again, but after a Kentucky zinger and chips and cannot help but find myself in the bathroom with my finger down my throat! I also restrict my calories to about 1200 after such a meal on the next day – I KNOW this is WAY to little. HELP ME!

I should probably go and see a doctor. I don't have a house doctor and will only be around for another week – will he or she be able to help me? What should I do? I guess I need anti-depressants, but I don't want to be on these forever or become dependent on anything to be happy. What are the side-effects of these?

Please help me Doc!

Answer 375 views

01 Jan 0001

CT, the good news is that you know what you’re doing is bad for your health. I don’t know whether we should call it bulimia as yet, but it will develop soon.
Bulimia nervosa is characterised by binge eating and then something to overcome the effects of the binge – vomiting, laxatives, diuretics or fasting. Whether this is done out of guilt or whether it is purely a psychological problem or whether it is a combination of the 2 is unclear. What is clear is that these people have a problem with impulse control and may be prone to drug and alcohol abuse too. It is seldom a life-threatening disease, but it can seriously affect one’s health.
It’s important that you find a way to stop doing it because soon you won’t be able to stop. You will have to ask someone close to support you through this so that when you feel guilty about having eaten too much, you can talk to them. You can also direct the negative energy into something positive like exercise. In other words, if you feel like inducing vomiting rather go to the gym and swim the kilojoules off. You can also contact CyberShrink for his opinion. Good luck.
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