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    Old 03-18-2004, 04:09 AM   #1
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    Question How do you hide bulimia from your family?

    I used to throw up in plastic bags and hide them in my bedroom until I could get them out of the house. I actually had maggots in my trash one time because I had to wait a few days. I still do this sometimes, but now I usually use the shower excuse. I actually do take a quick shower, but then I leave the water running while I throw up, so that my family cannot hear the noise. I sometimes will stay in the bathroom "taking a shower" for an hour or longer, which always causes my family to be furious with me and bang on the bathroom door. I always feel stressed and feel the need to hurry up and purge so that they will not be angry with me. They have no clue what I am doing; they simply think that I am being rude and inconsiderate. I often wonder what they would do if they ever found out what I have really been doing in the bathroom. I am not telling you this to give anyone ideas about how to cover up bulimia. I am just curious as to how so many of us seem to be able to hide this problem so well from our families for months and even years (3 years in my case).

    Last edited by lynx2; 03-18-2004 at 04:12 AM.

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    Old 03-18-2004, 09:59 AM   #2
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    Re: How do you hide bulimia from your family?

    Hello and *hugs* I happen to have the anxiety disorder known as ocd (obsessive-compulsive disorder), so I know how difficult it can be to hide shameful, embarassing behaviors from others. It must be very hard to try to find ways to keep family and friends from knowing about your apparent eating disorder. Perhaps by your posting on the board, you're thinking of getting outside help.

    Please, please do get outside help. As you are probably aware, any kind of purging (in your case, forced vomiting) is so damaging to one's health, both emotionally and physically. Medical complications can include a ruptured esophagus (esophagus being the swallowing tube), rotting or loss of teeth, and heart damage/failure. (And purging, in any form, doesn't help one to lose actual fat, but makes the person lose important electrolytes that actually help the heart to tick.)

    It will probably be tough talking to your parents/family about your eating problem. I know for me regarding my ocd, it was upsetting, embarassing, I was afraid that they would think that I was "crazy." (Even though I sorta am ;-) Though, it may bring you a sense of relief just getting this off your mind and perhaps not feeling as though you are needing to hide anything, not living a lie, so to speak.

    Perhaps you can talk with a counselor. Have you thought of going into a treatment program? There are many effective programs that may include inpatient therapy with individual and group counseling, activities therapy, and educational groups, outpatient therapy which is not nearly as structured, and eating disorder support groups as an adjunct to professional counseling.

    It is my understanding that recommendations for receiving therapy for eating disorders is based on the person's medical history, how long they've had the disorder, if they've relapsed after previously being in some sort of treatment.

    I realize that it is really difficult to talk about. When I told my psychiatrist (medical dr. who specializes in mental health) about my ocd, I wrote my symptoms down on a piece of paper and handed it to him. (I was going to read my embarassing behaviors aloud to him, but got too upset and just handed the paper over to him to read for himself instead.)

    Perhaps in the meantime, you can go to a local support group for others with eating disorders whether they have anorexia, bulimia, and/or compulsive overeating/binge eating disorder. They are usually free of charge, and you'll be in the same room with others who understand what a person goes thru with this disorder. You may call your local Contact Helpline in your county to find out of area support groups and/or other resource info. The Contact number is usually located on the front page of your county phone book.

    Take good care of yourself :-) Pleae use the resources that are available and you'll be just fine. Hugs

    Old 03-19-2004, 04:22 PM   #3
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    Re: How do you hide bulimia from your family?

    Hi hon. Look I have anorexia but I'm in recovery right now. You really need to tell someone. You cannot keep going on like will die. Please for the sake of you and your loved ones get help. That is no way to live a life..I know exactly how your feeling. Hope to talk to ya soon.


    Last edited by moderator2; 03-20-2004 at 06:50 PM. Reason: Please carefully read, know and follow the Policies and Guidelines. Click on FAQ at the top left of this page. Thank you!

    Old 03-19-2004, 04:36 PM   #4
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    Re: How do you hide bulimia from your family?

    You sound just like me! Only my bags are in the basement. I still get sick, and binge...but not as much, and I don't even enjoy it anymore. All of the lying, sneaking, extra effort to make excuses to vomit. I do the shower thing too and it is a pain in the butt. I will tell u that even though everyone in my family had no idea I am bulimic....once I told them, it turns out they had a feeling I was all along. You need to get help. My life is a living hell right now, but when I am in control with food I feel much better than having my head in a smelly plastic bag. Funny....when I read your post, I thought I wrote it!

    Old 03-20-2004, 03:23 AM   #5
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    Talking Re: How do you hide bulimia from your family?

    Isolated girl
    I was anorexic when i lived at home with my folks and used to vomit into bags and hide them in a suitcase sometimes for days. My mum had sussed me out and had taken the lock off the bathroom door.It wasnt until i was hospitalised that they found the suitcase complete with mouldy vomit and they were really disgusted with me.
    If you are like so many on this site you probably want the help but are frightened of your control mechanism being taken away?Im like that right now although atleast having my hubbie to talk to does help.You cant keep this locked inside, it will destroy you. Does your doc know about your ED?
    Having somebody is surely better than nothing and b/ping is so dangerous.Please seek help
    Love nikkitaxxxxx

    Old 03-26-2004, 06:34 PM   #6
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    Re: How do you hide bulimia from your family?

    boy, can I relate. Lately I have been exercising all the bad areas of eating disorders(starving, b/p, and laxing), and often find myself mixing and matching bad habits throughout the week. I have had a hard time also dealing the extra stress of doing these stupid things. After I binge I usually "need" something at the store and will throw up an a garbage bag on the way to the store and throw it out before entering the store.. (I swear people think I am carring around dog poop). I know DISGUSTING! Usually I am the first one home (just enough time to binge and purge), so I usually have had the "pleasure" of using the toilet.

    I dont want to be a hypocrite, but I want to remind everyone reading this that everytime you purge you could potentially kill yourself. People die from cardiac arrests from bulimia all the time. If you are not EXACTLY sure of the life threating dangers of b/p, I encourage you to explore the internet a bit. After I actually "researched" the dangers I have been able to keep my b/p down to once or twice a week and plan to stop ASAP. Please take care,


    Old 03-29-2004, 12:07 AM   #7
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    Re: How do you hide bulimia from your family?

    Wow. I say wow because reading that, I suddenly thought...have I been on this site before and made a post I'd forgotten about? The only difference was the shower thing. I still rely on the ol' plastic bag trick, though it's not a very good one at all. Your family probably knows, they're just afraid to confront you. My mom confronted me, twice, which was really hard for her, and served only to infuriate me. How dare she go into my room! That was how I felt. She claimed the cat had gotten the door open and hidden somewhere in there, so she had to find him. I never did buy that excuse. Anyhow, let me tell you what bullemia got me. Of course, it started out as a diet nearly 7 years ago, and that's all it was at first. But at 16, it turned into something more like anorexia. When too many people got on to me about my weight, I started eating again. And it was oh so good. Of course, I over did it, and so I started throwing up my food. This was about age 16 too. I actually thought it was kind of funny the first time I did it, like it was a joke. Boy was I ever wrong. So, four years later, here's where I am. During one binge, I herniated a disk in my back, resulting in severe pain, a temporary limp, and a permanent numbness in half of my right foot. My back also aches now and then, still, despite physical therapy. (I told everyone I sneezed wrong...). After that, my eating disorder ruined college for me. At first, I started losing weight at college, which was great, because all I ate was the cereal from their breakfast bar and fresh fruit. No food in my room or anything. Of course, I started craving the pizza, and the hot foods, and when I started eating those, I couldn't stop. So I pigged out in the cafeteria, sitting at a table by myself, then rushed of to my room to throw up. Then whenever I drove home for the weekends, all I'd do is eat and throw up. I barely saw my family. I was always in my room, sneaking food in through the window. I stopped going to school, because I felt like I was getting fatter. In reality, I'd probably gained five pounds of fluid from the vomitting. I worked at Walmart for awhile, fighting the entire time, spending all of my money on food. Then I moved on to another job, and that's the job I currently have. I got tired of spending my money on food, so I started stealing it. Big mistake, of course. I got caught, and received a $350 fine. But I'm still not too concerned about that anymore, because I stole way more than that, and I kept stealing out of spite for the fine. I've stopped now, because my fear of getting caught again grew for some reason. Now, let's talk about my teeth. I have many cavities, and I had to have a tooth extracted just about 2 months ago. Already, one of my teeth are gone. It's only a back tooth, but still. I fear every day that my heart will just stop, because of the pain I have in my neck and arm. Twice after a purge, I felt like I was going to pass out, my pulse seemed oddly slow to me, and I felt kind of dizzy. I think I may have been having a panic attack though, out of fear of having a heart attack. I believe that because I can prevent that from happening by relaxing. But I still worry about my heart every day, and as soon as I get health insurance, I'll have an EKG done. I am working so hard to stop this. I became bullimic to beat the system, and it was the worst thing I have ever done in my life. I'd rather be in prison for something then be bullemic. Actually, this is sort of like prison in a way, except for it could kill me a lot easier.

    I make my goal every day to not throw up. The days that I don't, I feel so good about myself, and my stress decreases that much. Normally, I'm not throwing up so much as letting the food come up. And that only happens when I've eaten way too much, which I purposefully do. Whenever my stomach feels full, that's an oppurtunity, and I start wondering about what things I can eat to throw up. I'm not underweight. I'm of normal weight, because I always end up keeping some of my food down, because I eat so much that I can't always get it all up. That's probably a good thing. I feel like someone should stamp the word HOG on my forehead. I was obese as a child, before the dieting began at age 13, and the reason I was overweight then was because I was a compulsive eater. I could never eat just one cookie, I always had to have the entire package. Then I'd still want more.

    Anyway, I'm starting a new job soon, and I plan to work way more than my old job. This will allow me less time to focus on food. Oddly enough, I'll be working at a place that serves food, and allows employees free meals on breaks. Of course, I've already visited the website and checked out the calorie contents on the foods. I plan to eat lunch at the restraunt, and have a sandwich when I get home. I plan to eat at least 1400 calories per day. This is to start. I want to get my binging under control. If I eat too much, I feel I must eat more and more, then purge. That is not the life I want to live. I don't want to let an eating disorder kill me. My dad is also bullemic, though I got the idea from this article I read about the disease. He's 47, and still alive. That gives me some hope, but I know he never binged and purged as hard as I did, sometimes for days straight. Therefore, I know my heart probably is messed up. It's really hard to be 20 years old and afraid that every day may be your last. A support group of some type would be great for me. Writing this is helping me, I think. I hope it helps someone else. I'd like to chat with people who have been through this and suvived, or people who are currently trying to overcome it. And, if you want to try and live with it, take my advice: Don't. It will kill you in more ways than one. I would really like to hear from an older person who has been through years of this severe self inflicted trauma and made a come back to decent health. That is what I'm trying to do myself, after all. Thank you for your time.

    Last edited by moderator2; 03-29-2004 at 03:47 PM. Reason: Please carefully read, know and follow the Policies and Guidelines. Click on FAQ at the top left of this page. Thank you!

    Old 04-14-2004, 08:27 PM   #8
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    Exclamation Re: How do you hide bulimia from your family?

    Hi hon, I guess I am an older person that has experienced this. Reading your post I could have sworn that I wrote it myself. Me and your stories are sooo much alike, I dropped my jaw at just reading it, it is so weird. I started b/p at the age of 16 also, and I was an over eater when I was 13 to!!! I felt the same exact feelings about my heart as you do and I used to find things to eat, after eating a normal meal, just to throw up. I will be 26 yrs old this Friday, and finally after doing this b/p on and off for the last few yrs, I have actually stopped all together. You can beat it, but I will tell you that it will take a hell of a lot of courage. This problem is hard to kick just like any other addiction, its like a crack head kicking the habit of needing the drug. The food calls you just like the drugs call them and your body craves for it just like the drugs do to them. Then when you promise yourself you would eat small for that day and not do it, you wound up eating the little bit, filling a little full, and finding more to eat just to give you the stuffed feeling so you can throw-up all over again, and while you are bending over the stool you say to yourself that you promise this is the last time just so you can feel half way decent about what you are doing, only to feel like crap later because you gave in again. Honey I know all too well about this problem. I don't think I will ever be "normal" when it comes to eating because you will always have in the back of your mind that you are afraid to become fat or anything. But I will tell you this, I absolutly had to stop because my chest had starting hurting everytime I b/p. I do feel sooo much better now that I do not do it anymore, I try to eat the right foods and get used to the fact that it is "normal" to feel full to the stomach and I do not have to let the food out so I won't get fat. I am alot happier now and probably would be dead by now if I hadn't stopped it. I will tell you this, the ONLY way to fight it, is to let your mind and body get used to food actually staying in it without you feeling guilty. Eat the right kinds of food, they are very very good and can be very filling to you, as long as you know that you are eating right and exercising regularing, please remember, that it is a GOOD feeling, not a GUILTY feeling. Take it from someone who has won the battle that she fought for 11 years. Need anymore info on it all, feel free to ask, I know all too well about this stuff. The trash bags, bowls, showers, dealing with parents finding out, friends, dealing with not wanting anyone near my bedroom for fear of finding my vomit bowl or bag. I have been through it all, my parents at one point even took my dam door off the hindges just to make sure I don't do that in my bedroom... Please try to stop, GOOD LUCK

    Last edited by nickymm78; 04-14-2004 at 08:33 PM.

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