Bulimia is an eating disorder. The term ‘bulimia’ comes from the Greek word meaning ‘cow’ and ‘hunger.’ There are many explanations for this disease, but two explanations are more authoritative. According to the Webster Medical Desk Dictionary, published in 1993, this is food distress characterized by repeated overeating, followed by forced vomiting, prolonged fasting or abuse of laxatives, enemas, diuretics, and amphetamines. In DSM 4, it refers to ‘preventing inappropriate compensation methods to prevent weight gain affected by body shape and weight’.
Bulimia begins when a person turns to food for comfort, relaxation, and escape. It can temporarily relieve other problems such as fear, depression, anger, and emotional pain. The carnival started because a person felt low, often rejected, and then turned into a kind of almost narcotic food. His or her mind is almost always flooded with the thought of food, leading to a lack of concentration. Bulimia patients deal with most guilt by washing after overeating. Purge means they can maintain a normal weight. Most patients describe the desire for overeating as different from hunger.
When comparing bulimia nervosa to true anorexia nervosa, the basic psychopathology is similar. Both show a morbid fear of obesity. Patients with anorexia will starve to death, while patients with sepsis can only maintain limited hunger, eat and cleanse. Both reduce weight below optimal levels. This is extreme in anorexia and less extreme in bulimia. These conditions differ in the frequency of amenorrhea, the level of sexual activity and fertility. In anorexia, menstruation and fertility are discontinued, and most patients show significant stagnation or loss of sexual behaviour.
From symptoms to illness, ‘bulimia’ has undergone a long development process. A review of the anorexia nervosa literature over the past century has shown that bulimia is a symptom and was widely known at the time. Later, the case study of ‘Ellen West’ (Binswanger, 1944) constituted the first and most well-documented example in the bulimia nervosa syndrome literature with partial relief of bulimia nervosa syndrome. Since then, Boskind Lodahl (1976) has coined the term ‘bulimia’, suggesting a link between anorexia and bulimia. However, this phrase has not been widely adopted. At this moment, Russell (1979) first conducted a systematic study of bulimia as a unique eating disorder. He referred to bulimia as ‘nervous bulimia’ to show his kinship but was related to anorexia nervosa. The disease is different. Russell noted that it is too early to consider the disease as a unique syndrome, as symptoms of bulimia may occur in people who have no history of weight disorders and obese people. Therefore, the question arises whether it should be considered a unique diagnostic entity among psychology researchers. Lacy (1982) proposed that normal-weight septic syndromes are heterogeneous and that there are at least three clinical forms, although their underlying pathogenesis is similar. At this point, the syndrome seems to be rooted in the psychological, social, and biological concepts of female sexuality.