Many people know of bulimia as the eating disorder where someone self-induces vomiting to modify their appearance. In actuality, this condition is called purging. Bulimia nervosa (the clinical term) is when a person binge eats and then purges, and it is considered a separate diagnosis.
People who purge will use one or numerous methods to expel weight from their bodies, including vomiting, laxatives, fasting, and over-exercising. This is a dangerous condition that can lead to serious health problems. Unfortunately, people who purge may believe or convince themselves that what they are doing is healthy, making them reluctant to seek treatment.
Symptoms of purging include:
- Chronic worrying about appearance or weight
- Periods of self-induced vomiting, misusing laxatives, misusing enemas, fasting, or over-exercising
- Emotional distress about weight or appearance that can disrupt work or social life
- Hiding behaviors from friends or family out of fear of what they’ll say