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Detective dropped in Pistorius case

The case that has captured world attention has taken a bizarre twist. 

Friday, November 29

Friday, November 29

Gardaí are trying to establish how a man whose body was found in the Phoenix Park in Dublin...

Wednesday, 27 November

Wednesday, 27 November
Questions in Kerry - The body of a woman in her 50's has been found near Listowel....

Tuesday, 26 November

Tuesday, 26 November

It doesn't matter if you're with ESB or another energy company - you will be affected. That was the...

Monday, 25 November

Monday, 25 November

Clashes in Kiev. Protestors and police have met head on in the Ukraine as thousands of...

Sony QX10 lens review

Sony QX10 lens review
We review the Sony QX10 lens, a wireless lens that connects to your...

Tuesday, 19 November

Tuesday, 19 November
Two suicide bombers have struck in Lebanon's capital Beirut. At least 23 people have died in the...

Monday, 18 November

Monday, 18 November
Guilty on all charges - Former solicitor Thomas Byrne has been found guilty of the 50 charges against...

Thursday, 14 November

Thursday, 14 November

Big plans taking flight - Ryanair has announced a major expansion of its...

Wednesday, 13 November

Wednesday, 13 November

As survivors of Typhoon Haiyan scramble desperately for food and water,...

Tuesday, 12 November

Tuesday, 12 November

Shortage of supplies: survivors struggle after Philippines typhoon.

Monday, 11 November

Monday, 11 November

The fallout from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines continues, as the estimated death toll has...

Friday, 08 November

Friday, 08 November
Authorities in the Phillipines are dealing with one of the worst storm systems they've seen in years.


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AnorexiaEating DisordersTen things to consider about Coming OutWhat to do if you want to end your lifeDepressionRelationshipsWhat is bulimia?Coming OutRelationship BreakupsWhat is a mental health difficulty?AnxietyIf your friend threatens to take their own lifeWhat is a binge eating disorder?

What is bulimia?

What is bulimia?

Bulimia nervosa is a type of eating disorder. Eating disorders is the term used to describe a group of illnesses where someone has a distorted view of body image and extreme disturbances in eating behaviour. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder are all different types of eating disorders.

People experiencing bulimia go on regular eating 'binges', which involves consuming large amounts of food in relatively discrete periods of time whilst accompanied by feelings of being out of control of one's food intake. The binge eating is usually followed by feelings of guilt and anxiety about becoming fat, and this results in a need to get rid of the food.

Common ways of getting rid of food may include:

  • over-exercising to burn the calories
  • 'throwing up'
  • taking laxatives, diuretics or diet pills
  • not eating for several days after the binge.

Bingeing may be used as a way of coping with anger, depression, stress and sadness.

Some of the common signs of bulimia may be:

  • eating unusually large amounts of food
  • being secretive about what is eaten and when
  • visiting the bathroom straight after eating (perhaps preceded by drinking copious amounts of water)
  • over-exercising
  • being very critical of one's self
  • being moody
  • depression
  • being regularly tired/lacking energy
  • sore throat
  • decaying teeth.

If you are experiencing a number of these things, or if you notice them in a friend, it may be helpful to go and talk with someone you trust like a family member, teacher, counsellor or local doctor for some advice. Also, look at the Bodywhys website for helpful advice and support around this issue, as well as a directory of services nationally that can help you or a friend deal with bulimia.

What causes bulimia?

Like other eating disorders, bulimia is a combination of physical and mental health difficulties and the cause is not clear. However, a number of factors may be associated with bulimia. These may include:

  • physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
  • cultural emphasis on slimness 
  • preoccupation with body image ideals
  • relationships with peers or family
  • loss and grief
  • brain chemistry
  • physiological and psychological effects of dieting
  • stress or coping styles.

Suggestions for help

The reasons that people experience bulimia may differ from person to person and the options for treatment may also differ from person to person. Your local doctor, nutritionist or counsellor should be able to talk with you about what options are available and which may be best for you. If necessary, they can also refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist. See the Bodywhys website for helpful advice and support around this issue, as well as a directory of services, including counsellors, nationally.

A counsellor or psychologist will talk with you about your food and weight beliefs and behaviours. They may also explore the reasons why you may have developed these beliefs and behaviours. This can be done in a group situation or in a one on one situation. It is a good idea to talk with your counsellor as to which is the best option for you.

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