When does bulimia start?


Reader's question: when does bulimia start? - This is a challenging question that I've broadened to include all eating disorders. It's challenging because what is happening and what we know are not the same. The consensus in the 80's was that eating disorders were a teen age phenomenon, with symptoms appearing when a person was around 13 years. But now we see eating disorder symptoms appearing in children as young as nine. I receive questions and stories from women in their 50's, 60's and 70's who suffer from eating disorders. In my practice I see people whose full blown symptoms didn't appear until they were in their 20's or even older.

Are you invisible?-
But, these are the people we see. The great question is what about the people we don't see? How many people don't ask for help or tell anyone of their disorder? How many actually fly under the radar? Too many people with eating disorders don't fit stereotypes. And people with eating disorders can be good at keeping their disorders a secret. If you have symptoms of an eating disorder, please don't let your age figure into your thinking about getting help. No matter your age, help and treatment are available. If you want or need help in finding your way to mental health professionals who know about eating disorders, please write. I can help by checking with my colleagues around the country.

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