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Question:

I am 22 years old and I am very unhappy with my life and with myself. I have been bulimic for about 8 years now, and I feel that it just gets worse and worse. I have become very unsocial and have turned into a huge loner. I have not had a relationship with a guy in a very very long time. My father became a drug addict and hurt my family very much. My mother was also a bulimic and was very much a loner. I want to get motivated to become the person that I used to be, but I can’t get myself to change. Do you have any advice on how I can stop hating myself?

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Answer:

when a person reaches a point where they feel that they can no longer help themselves, it is time to enter psychotherapy. In your case, I would recommend that you see someone who specializes in Cognitve Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

First, CBT is found to be very helpful in people with depression. The fact that you report hating yourself indicates that you do have depression. Also, depression and bulimia usually go together. CBT would be a way to address and end the problem of bulimia, of course.

CBT is based on helping people replace distorted and unrealistic thinking with accurate and helpful ways o f thinking. That is why it is called "cognitive." People get themsleves into all types of emotional turmoil and trouble through their "automatic" or unrealistic ways of thinking. What emerges when therapy is finished is that you have a tool or method to use for the rest of your life, in helping you identify and eliminate automatic thoughts.

You seem to have strong genetic coding for your bulimia. The fact that your mother is or was bulimic is one factor in your genetic background and your father’s addiction is another. Bulimia is one of those behaviors that is addictive in nature and, so, you have that genetic coding as well. However, we are more than just genes. The fact is that we are shaped by our environment, and not just dna and rna. What this means is that there is every reason for you to feel optimistic about your ability to over come this problem.

Please look for a psychologist or licensed clinical social worker who specializes in using CBT and eating disorders. If a private therapist is too expensive then there are lower cost clinics, and some that specialize in eating disorders, that can be of service. Either ask your doctor or do an Internet search.

One last thing: As I pointed out, bulimia is addictive. The less you do it the less you will feel the urge. When and if you feel the urge, go out for a walk, call a friend, get together with a friend, wirte a diary, or day anything that will distract you. Also, do not diet. The more you diet, the hungrier you will feel and the more you will binge and purge. Avoid starvation.

Good luck

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