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The Holidays can be a Trigger for Bulimia


First, let us look at what bulimia is “clinically defined as those who binge and purge twice a week for three months, often will suffer from episodes triggered by the food spreads, usually in combination with other factors, according to Dr. Tim Brewerton, a Mount Pleasant-based psychiatrist who specializes in eating disorders.”

Contributing Factors

During the holidays, many people become depressed for several reasons and this can be a trigger for bulimia. For people who have at one time or another practiced the binge/purge cycle this can also be a contributing factor. Being around large assortments of food is tempting and for people with eating disorders or for people who are at risk of developing an eating disorder the holidays can be a tempting time to partake in bulimia eating disorder symptoms.

Tips for Getting Through the Holidays

There are a few things people can do to get through the holidays without triggering bulimia. Do not park yourself next to the table(s) of food. Mingle with the other guests and try to avoid the impulse to binge. Before you put anything on your plate look at all, the dishes you have to choose from and choose something you really like and only take a small amount. Then fill your plate with healthy foods such as veggie sticks and fruit pieces. Lastly try to eat just before you are about ready to leave. Do not eat and run but save the eating until near the end of the party or gathering. If you feel you cannot be around that much food without it causing you a problem then politely decline invitations to gatherings.