The Dangers of the Pro-Bulimia Movement

When parents suspect that their child is resorting to bulimia as a weight loss tool, they are often at a loss of what to do or say next. The problem can be made worse by the pro bulimia movement. 

Many teens suffering from the eating disorder communicate over the Web with other teens with bulimia. They aren't trying to help each other, however. They are feeding off one another's illness, sharing tips and tricks to reach maximum results, and helping each other hide the bulimia from parents and other concerned family members and friends.

Teens are receiving messages about their weight and body shape from a variety of sources, not the least of which is the media. Because of this, many teens believe that being very thin is the only way to be attractive. The numbers of models with eating disorders only adds to this belief. It is important for parents to start talking to their children about the deception the media portrays at a young age. Explaining that what they see on TV and in magazines is not always real is important.  You can also monitor your child's internet behavior.  Popular networking sites such as Myspace.com and Facebook.com have pro bulimia groups which serve to help other teens continue their eating disorder (although the founders of such sites are generally trying to shut down these types of groups).

One way to deter your child from developing an eating disorder such as bulimia is to fully explain the health risks associated with it. Many teens believe that weight loss is the only effect of bulimia and that they can control the amount of weight they lose. What many teens and parents don't realize is that bulimics often maintain a normal weight while still doing damage, sometimes permanent damage, to their bodies. Bulimia can cause a range of problems such as heart arrhythmia and heart attack to a permanent loss of proper menstruation (meaning that a teen with bulimia now may not be able to have children later).

Let your child know that you're there to listen if they want to talk. Also encourage him or her to talk to another adult if he or she is not comfortable explaining the depths of their illness to you. A good adult for your child to talk to would be a teacher or coach or a doctor or other health professional.

If your child is already suffering from bulimia, or you suspect that their personal problems are leading in that direction, it is vital that you realize that your intervention is just the first step.  People with bulimia (and other eating disorders) require the professional help of doctors and therapists to fully recover. Make it clear to your child that you're an  ally in the battle against bulimia, that you're not intervening as a form of punishment.

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It's important to recognize the symptoms of bulimiaso that you can begin treatment early. Bulimia can cause serious health conditions and even death.

The dangers in bulimia are many and exceed dramatic weight loss. In fact, many people with bulimia are able to maintain a normal weight. This can trick people into believing that bulimia isn't so bad, but the health risks associated with the eating disorder are quite severe.
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