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is bulimia permanent?


Posted by abc

ive recently stopped being bulimic, and im worried it will come back
 
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"Is bulimia permanent?" is a great question, and one I get asked ALL the time. The answer somewhat depends on whom you ask, because there are a variety of ways people conceptualize eating disorders, including bulimia.
 
Some people seem them as addictions from which the sufferer can become symptom free but is always in a state of "recovering," whereas others see them as illnesses from which complete recovery is possible.
 
Although I love theoretical and clinical discussion, for people who are directly suffering from an eating disorder, I find it more useful, rather then focusing on what may or may not happen in the future, to focus on what has helped reduce or stop the bulimic behaviors/symptoms and what you need to do to keep the behaviors reduced or stopped.
 
Lasting behavior reduction or elimination (resolution) is not random. Usually it's dependent upon certain things- like understanding what made the behaviors make sense or feel necessary in the first place, treating and resolving underlying issues (depression, anxiety, trauma, stress, interpersonal issues/difficulties, etc), and developing alternative coping methods so one doesn't need to resort to bulimic behaviors as a way to manage one's life.
 
I've found that when people use their energy focusing on and working on these kinds of things, the eating disordered behaviors have a much better chance of not resurfacing. Focusing on whether or not an eating disorder is "permanent" tends to just make people anxious and fearful about the future, and leave them feeling powerless or helpless to do anything about it.
 
I'd encourage you to ask a variety of people this same question, because, as I said, people have an assortment of philosophies about the subject. 
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