In the last month, I have been exercising, taking pills, laxatives, throwing up, and doing all kinds of crazy things.

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Hi, I’m a 16-year-old student in Guatemala. I need to tell someone about my eating disorder and I spotted your site in my research. Well, I have been bulimic for a time now. Sometimes I used to throw up, but that was a long time ago. Then I started to exercise compulsively etc. In the last month or so I have been exercising, taking pills, laxatives, throwing up, and doing all kinds of crazy things that slowly are driving me crazy. Could you please give me some advice on how to stop this? Thanks.

Bulimia’s symptoms are food related, but the problem has its roots in your head, not your stomach. You are not crazy. I would suggest you go see a psychologist that specializes in eating disorders. Your behaviors aren’t going to go away on their own. I’m sure you feel panicky with the thought of giving up these unhealthy behaviors because how else are you going to control your weight? Well, a healthy eating plan and a reasonable exercise routine do work to control weight.

The combination of compulsive exercise, taking laxatives and throwing up is unhealthy. You are going to get your body out of chemical (electrolyte) balance and end up in a hospital. Go get some help now. Ask a trusted friend who knows your situation to go with you. Start with a school counselor or your family doctor that can refer you to a psychologist.

You will need to daily document what you eat, pills you take, and how often you vomit. Don’t beat yourself up with an “all or nothing” mentality. If you reduce these unhealthy behaviors each week to eventually stopping, you will succeed. It starts with asking for help. Now go do it.