Bulimia Nervosa

1066 Words5 Pages
A dangerous, yet hidden, epidemic is currently taking place in America. Affecting more than 1.5% of women in their lifetime, this silent killer will be the death of 3.9% of those sufferers—adding up to a total of 73,651 preventable deaths (Eating Disorder Hope). Those suffering will misuse laxatives, over exercise, and, in extreme cases, self-induce vomiting to “purge” calories after consuming copious amounts of food. The name of this disorder is bulimia nervosa. Bulimia is one of the most common eating disorders in American society; however, many choose to mock and ridicule those who suffer from it. Victims receive labels such as disgusting, wasteful, and gluttonous. In addition, they come to view their illness as nothing more than an object…show more content…
Marya Horbacher, a survivor and best-selling author, states in her book, Wasted, “[Bulimia] is seen as a step down from anorexia, both in terms of medical seriousness and in terms of admirability” (qtd. in Warin 94). While she attended in-patient, a recovery center for extreme cases, she described herself as “far thinner than is normal or attractive” in the eyes of a healthy individual. However, in comparison to the other women there, mainly those suffering from anorexia nervosa, she felt she was “unworthy of treatment.” Horbacher then goes on to state, “There is nothing feminine, delicate, acclaimed, about sticking your fingers down your throat and spewing puke” (94). This further reinstates that the stigma associated with bulimia can cause victims to avoid treatment. Furthermore, incessant comparisons between bulimia and anorexia force victims to see themselves as masculine, undesirable, and…show more content…
Eating disorders that rely on a “clutch,” i.e., vomiting, laxatives, excessive exercise, are impure, impulsive, masculine, and rated “lower down [on] the scale” of the Hierarchy of Eating Disorders, a fictitious scale that ranks eating disorders by desirability (Warin 94). Additionally, purging is seen as a cop out. Binge/purge anorectics and bulimics are cheaters since they do not lose weight via pure self-control. In some instances, bulimics are told that they are “failed anorexics” by their psychiatrists (94). These acts of insensitivity further validate—in the mind of the bulimic—that they are incompetent, unworthy, and unable to obtain their goal. Therefore, bulimics are less likely to receive treatment and recover from their
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