Bulimia is very hard to recognize, especially since those who have it try their hardest to cover it up from people they know. I tried not to say anything negative about my weight, because I thought that it could be a tip-off for people to recognize that I was leaving the table after dinner to vomit my guts out. I always made sure that no one was walking my the bathroom while I was throwing up, and if I threw up in the shower, I would hide the food in bunches of Kleenex and stick it in the bottom of the trash can.
There were times when I certainly could have gotten caught. The thing is, though, that NO ONE WILL BELIEVE YOU’RE BULIMIC unless faced with incontrovertible evidence. That’s the main reason I get away with it.
It’s nothing bad on their part. After all, less than 5% of people become bulimic, so why should they assume anything? And the disease doesn’t manifest itself in physical ways like with anorexia, so if people notice a detail you left out of place they will reason it away.
Sites have lists of signs to look for:
- using diet pills
- exercising all the time, even when hurt or tired
- going to the bathroom after eating all the time or showering right after dinner
- swollen cheeks from throwing up
- calluses or scrapes on the fingers from using them to induce vomiting
- teeth that look clear
- broken blood vessel in the eyes
(I exhibit all of these symptoms except I've never taken diet pills. Not because I didn't want to...)
And here are some things I would look for in addition:
- someone restricting food intake
- having a negative body image or thinking they’re too fat
- being grouchy after eating a large meal
- holding stomach after eating or just randomly
- weighing oneself all the time