Bulimia Nervosa is a serious mental health condition where the person that is affected will feel like they lose control over their eating then later keep track of their weight, shape and appearance of themselves. When they lose control over how much they eat this can lead to cycles of eating large amounts of food in a short space of time, this is known as ‘bingeing’. Can this become an addiction for trying to gain back that sense of control?
Throughout my teenage years, high school was pretty tough at times. I would get negative comments about my appearance as I wasn’t seen as the ‘girly girl’ in my year, I was more of a tomboy which I thought back then was nothing to be looked down upon or be made to feel ashamed of, but that’s when high school changed for me.
After many years of dealing with the negative comments, I thought it was time for me to change my whole appearance. I started off with getting my hair re-styled as I always had it up in a ponytail.I also started to watch what I was eating, I never used to care about what I ate but one day that all changed just from one comment that a girl made about my weight. That comment was “I couldn’t even pick you up to throw you out the window, you are that heavy”. Ever since that girl made that nasty comment I’ve never been able to get it out of my mind and that happened over ten years ago, so it just proves that even one negative comment can change a person’s life!
After this situation, I discovered I could starve myself to lose the weight so hopefully, I could impress that girl. At the time I didn’t believe that I was treating my body poorly all that mattered to me at the time was to get a positive comment for once about my appearance.
Once my parents found out that I was starving myself they straight away sent me to the mental health unit and from then on I was having weekly therapy. I was moved from that high school to a new one for a fresh start and now I look back on it that was the best decision I have ever made!
Starting this new high school was tough, I pretended to be someone who I wasn’t! I put on an act that everything was fine, I didn’t want anyone finding out about my past and then having the whole situation of negative comments coming back to haunt me. So how did I deal with the stress of my past coming back? I found out about Bulimia Nervosa. I brainwashed myself into thinking that I could eat anything I wanted and not put any weight on at all.
Whenever I become depressed, anxious or just stressed out this was how I would have dealt with those emotions. I would wait till my parents had gone to bed to go downstairs go into the kitchen and make so much food so that I could binge on it. At the time it felt like I had that control back that I hadn’t felt for years. This became a routine for me and no one found out about it until one night I was court by my brother then he told my parents what he had witnessed me do then I was sent back to the mental health clinic for more help!
I didn’t realise at the time that this was a serious mental health condition I just thought it was a way of gaining back that control I once had but I was totally wrong.
So, several years on and now I’m 20 and yes, I am still a bulimic. I do have my good days now where I can eat without having the thoughts of going to the bathroom to make myself purge but then there are days where them thoughts take control and it’s hard to fight off! My question is can this mental illness become an addiction? Can this condition from binging then to making yourself sick afterwards become a coping mechanism for stress? Was this my way of dealing with all those years of hate and grief from the bullying because I didn’t speak up to anyone about it? In my eyes, yes it was and it still is today. It’s hard to break a cycle that has taken over your daily routine for years. This is what I turn to for when I’m feeling depressed or alone, so is it the same for when people who are addicted to drugs or drinking? Is it their way out of the real world to a world that they control?
Teenagers With Experience is an online platform ran by teenagers for teenagers. We provide support through sharing our own experiences and providing advice based from this. If you need support, feel free to reach out to us on one of our social media platforms. We will do our best to support you and if we feel we cannot we will direct you to more suited, professional support.