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Does the process of stopping bulimia make anxiety worse?

By Anonymous May 8, 2013 - 11:17am
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I am going to be graduation on May 18 with a degree in health and physical education! Although I cannot wait to graduate i'm worried about the rest of my life. I currently llive in PA but I plan on moving to North Carolina the week after I graduate. However, I have very severe anxiety due to several concussions from playing soccer and a few other reasons. I have been bulimic for about 5 years now and have just told my therapist about 2 weeks ago. She does not specialize in eating disorders but she does give me great advice. I'm scared the process of quitting will make my anxiety worse and possibly postpone moving. I have a history of passing out as well from the concussions and i'm also scared that the anxiety will bring back my passing out. Every time I pass out my license gets taken away for 6 months.

Because I am I have studied health education, I am fully aware of all the damage I am doing to my body but am unable to control it. I hate myself for doing and I am extremely embarrassed to tell basically anyone. No one knows expect my therapist but i'm afraid she doesn't fully understand what I am going through.

so yeahhh, I don't know what to doooo!

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your post and congratulations on your degree!

You don't "quit bulimia" like you'd quit, say, soda or biting your nails. 

An eating disorder is a mental disorder that manifests itself in a physical way - namely, food control. It takes time and a lot of care to free oneself of this disease.

A better idea for you, perhaps, is getting treatment that specializes in eating disorders - not just anxiety. By doing this, you will work with a professional who will be able to give you the tools you need to beat this disorder. You've had this for five years - don't do it alone. Your regular therapist can give you some names to contract to start the ball rolling.

Congratulations also on realizing you have a problem and taking steps to make it better.



May 8, 2013 - 12:37pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

Thank you very much, I never really thought of it that way. I guess I always thought that people who have overcome bulimia have just quit and never looked back.

My therapist and I have discussed seeing a specialist, but I am skeptical. I have a really hard time opening up to people and it takes a lot for me to trust someone. I don't want to have to go through the anxiety and embarrassment of telling someone else.That's why I like this site because I can remain anonymous. When I talk to my therapist, I try to be completely honest but it's like really hard to admit how severe my bulimia really is. I understand the confidentially thing that therapists have, but i'm scared she will tell someone or make me go to an in-patient thing or something.

I'm so close to finally moving and being out on my own, and I don't want anything to stop me, especially bulimia. I really do want help and to stop, but, I don't know what she will do if I am completely honest.

I really appreciate your advice and help, Thank you.

May 8, 2013 - 7:05pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi again!

I understand your need for privacy but a therapist can lose of job or even license if she doesn't not adhere to the rules of privacy for her patient. I really don't think you have too much to worry about in that respect.

Try to give a specialist a try - give it a few weeks at least, so that you give yourself the best opportunities you can! It can't hurt.


May 9, 2013 - 12:45pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

Yeah, I guess your right. I really don't have much to lose. But just the thought about being completely honest with her makes me start shaking! I was also sexually asaulted 4 years ago and even though I was over the age of 18 the cops still told my parents so I have a really hard time respecting the confidential thing now.

Since I am moving in like 2 weeks should I even bother telling her? And I'm thinking I should jus wait till I get to NC to find a specialist. Sorry, one more question! What would you consider severe bulimia?

Thank you so much

May 10, 2013 - 8:27am
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

I am very sorry to hear about your assault. I would start laying the groundwork right now for finding a therapist in NC who can help you. Ask your current therapist for a recommendation on where you should start looking. Start now because once you move, things may start to get busy for you and your bulimia may never be properly be addressed.

Any kind of bulimia can be considered serious, most especially because it's often advances. Since you have been dealing with this for years, I think you certainly have a great need for therapy.

Stay in touch with us!


May 10, 2013 - 1:25pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)


So I saw my therapist today.. I didn't tell her that I throw up pretty much after every meal, but I did tell her that it was usually more than once a day. I just didn't have the guts to tell her the real frequency. We talked more in depth about specialists. She gave me some great starting points to look into in NC but a lot of them are residential. I am petrified of residential treatment because then I would have to tell my parents! It's not like my parents wont help me tremendously because I know they would, I just don't want to disappoint them. sometimes I feel like a burden because of how much my fainting spells happen and I just don't want to be another problem.

we also discussed the assault and how it probably made my bulimia worse. I really only started because they wouldn't allow me to workout for awhile because of the passing out, so I did it to maintain my weight. but it has gotten so bad ever since the assault which I have never realized before.

I guess at this point I will definitely be looking into therapists that specialize in eating disorders but I think i'm going to wait to look at residential treatments until I think it's necessary...

Thank you so much for your advice, I am glad I shared more with my therapist about my eating disorder. you both have been a great help.

May 15, 2013 - 6:13pm
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