27 Feb 2016

Explaining Behaviour : Anorexics and Bulimics


In this post, I would like to share a little insight into another type of behaviour that raises eyebrows, but which needs empathy, understanding and support.

There are people who, when they were growing up, had adults who always talked about how they looked in certain clothes and what weight they were. Also adults who would talk about overweight people as disgusting, as being “in such a state”, greedy, would look at them waddling down the road and made them a laughing stock. This gave their children the impression that if they were overweight it would be the worst thing in the world.

In these cases, usually the adults were very controlling and judgemental and never allowed their children to make their own decisions.  Often, the adult would say that nobody will like you if you were fat.

As these children grew up, they started to believe that there was only one way to have some control over their lives and that was by way of controlling their food intake. They hated their bodies and their lives, and even saw themselves as being fat when in reality they were thin. If only they could lose some weight, they thought their life would be perfect.

Anorexics would starve themselves by making themselves sick after meals hoping that they would be put out of their misery and die, or lose enough weight so they would be transformed into beautiful popular people.  On the other hand, Bulimics would have a reward and punishment behaviour.  Reward would be a binge where they would eat anything they liked and punishment where they would make themselves sick.

Unfortunately, if we make ourselves sick a few times after meals the body, starts to reject food and then it becomes very dangerous! The danger, as always in this cases, is not only physical, but also emotional, and psychological, leading to a never ending vicious circle.

The only way to stop this behaviour is for them to start to feel good about themselves and reach a balance. 

Regrettably, this is not easy to achieve.  The longer this behaviour and conditioning has been endured, the more engrained it is within one’s personality, attitude, and physical condition.


If you find this personally affects you, either as your behaviour, or as the behaviour of a loved one, it is important to understand that understanding and support are key to changing things around.  If you have difficulty in finding, or offering, the support that is needed, get in touch with me, either by commenting below, or sending me a private message.