How Bulimia Starts

Bulimia is also known as Binge/Purge Syndrome. Bulimia usually starts around ages 15 and 24. It usually starts because of one of the following reasons:

  • *Social pressures to be slim
  • *An upsetting incident or remark
  • *A major stressful event or adverse circumstance
bulimic girl measuring her weight

Social Pressures to Be Slim

The media has always put pressure on men and women to idealize what they define as the perfect body. Men tend to be less affected by this. There's more pressure on women to look attractive. This pressure is what drives teenage girls to be bulimic as they tend to be more self-conscious. Movie celebrities, musicians and models are more marketed towards the youth and that's why it tends to start in the teenage years.

Teenage girls also feel pressure from their peers to look slim and attractive. This is also common with college students. This kind of pressure also affects boys.

Upsetting Incident

Teasing is very common amongst teenagers and college students. Being called “fatty” or “piggy” or some other derogatory name is emotionally scaring and can lead to bulimia. Initially the person will start off by dieting, but some might go on to be anorexic or bulimic so as not to be teased.

Major Stressful Event or Adverse Circumstance

Initially it may have nothing to do with concern about body image. Some teenage girls may begin binging so as to comfort themselves because of stress.donuts This stress may be caused by upcoming exams, unhappiness in the family and so on.

Some college students begin binge-eating because they are faced with a new environment where they are away from home and have to fend for themselves.

A divorce in the family, the death of a parent or a close loved one can lead to binge-eating. A breakup with a husband or a boyfriend or an illness within the immediate family may lead to it.

The Cycle of a Bulimic:

  1. Diet
  2. Carbohydrate cravings
  3. Bingeing
  4. Weight gain
  5. Increased guilt and anxiety about fatness
  6. Purging or starving
  7. Guilt and self-dislike
  8. Increased Resolve to diet
  9. And the cycle repeats


Bulimia is a dangerous eating disorder which affects a lot of women. Bulimics tend to lie when asked about having this problem.

If you are bulimic, you feel guilt, anger and self-disgust for losing control of your appetite. It's worth your time to talk to someone about your problem. If you are embarrassed about admitting your problem then the emotional pain and depression will continue. Arrange to talk to your doctor or psychologist about your problem so you can be helped.

My friend was bulimic and she's not anymore because she sought help. Talk to someone you trust and who won't judge you. A parent or a professional is always best.

You're not alone.

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