Need help breaking free from addiction?
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Who Answers?

I Have Bulimia


I have had bulimia for about almost 4 years now. I go through bouts where I relapse but, for the most part, I am recovering. In the first year of my bulimia I lost about 100lbs and still wanted to lose more. Unfortunately, in my recovery, I gained most of it back. I still have a very unhealthy relationship with food. I just want to know how to teach my brain that food is not bad but every time I eat, whether it be a tomato or a whole bag of crisps, I feel the urge to throw it up.

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

How best to train your mind to not be fearful of food is to enter psychotherapy. The most helpful type of psychotherapy for this is Cognitive Behavior Therapy. CBT gives you a chance to follow your automatic or unrealistic thoughts about food. Then, you and the therapist can explore more realistic thoughts. What is nice about CBT is that you are not being forced to think a certain way. In point of fact, you do most of the work yourself with guidance from the therapist.

As part of this it is also important to review your past in order to identify how your bulimia started. Very often, eating disorders run in families. I have seen situations in which a female with bulimia discovered that her mother and grandmother also had the same problem. It it wasn’t bulimia it was anorexia, closely connected to bulimia.

Many people with bulimia find that they purge when they are upset with something that is happening in their lives. Perhaps breaking up with a boyfriend, getting a low grade on an exam, not getting the hoped for raise in salary and etc. It is the frustration that adds to a feeling of frustration that sets off the desire to purge.

Please know that purging is extremely harmful to health and can lead to many serious health issues. The sooner you get yourself into therapy the better it will be for you.

By the way, if you are male, all the same information applies.

Best of Luck

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists


Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 Who Answers? 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.


Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand