The Pain and The Shame of Being Bulimic over 40

I have been working on assessments and reaching out to women who are stuck in the “stigma” that having bulimia over 40 is something to be ashamed of. This feeling of shame keeps them from reaching out.

Several have suffered for over 30 years, starting back in their adolescence. I was one too. The truth is, many don’t want to start off hearing about “how you need to get over it”, but more so someone to listen, hear them and understand. Mostly it’s about acceptance.

It is the first step towards recovery. Removing the shame and the pain.

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Dear IAmThatGAL,

Thank you for this my daughter, 35, has been anorexic and bulimic since she was very young. I feel your pain. My girl has suffered terribly with body image and like you said the shame she feels. She apologizes all the time but I tell her she never has to apologize. If she had cancer or MS would she need to apologize to anyone. She didn’t choose this for herself. My family has a history of eating disorders from overeaters to anorexic. We are all very body conscience and if I gained weight my mother would always comment, “boy, looks like you’ve put on a few pounds there kid”. She was always as thin as a rail but her grandmother was very heavy. It’s difficult for a lot of people to understand that it’s not about the food but the emotions. And for my daughter who has suffered severe trauma it has been her friend and her worse enemy. We need to talk about it and provide help for people who need it. My daughter’s health has been seriously adversely affected from years of throwing up and starving herself. Her teeth are ruined and she has severe GERD disease. It breaks my heart that she has suffered so. We put her in treatment more than once because we didn’t know what else to do or how to help her. There are very few options for those with ED. Maybe if people start talking about it and get it out in the open that will change.
Thanks for sharing and God bless you.

Kel