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Could I be bulimic and not know it?



New member
Dec 12, 2014
For the majority of my life I felt that bulimia was strictly eating large amounts of food and purging afterwards. I recently found out that purging doesn't have to be part of it.

I've always loved to eat, especially unhealthy foods. I also know that it is some sort of compulsion especially when I'm out. If there is an opportunity to buy food I can't pass it up (it is the only issue I have with spending too much money), even if I've already eaten. Even so, I have a very small appetite so I never eat food in large quantities so I never consider myself to binge.

Then there are times where I can go through a whole day without eating hardly anything. I don't purposely starve myself but I do think about it as making up for all the high calorie foods I do eat, and sometimes I'm almost proud of myself for doing it.

Sometimes, but not always, my lack of eating is due to feeling nauseated for unknown reasons.

I don't have problems with my image as in a feel like I'm too fat. I actually think I'm the perfect weight right now. But I have an extreme fear of gaining weight. I think the only reason that I am able to maintain this weight despite the type of food I eat is because of my small appetite and the days where don't eat.

I have been diagnosed with depression, but I don't feel bad about myself for the way I eat.

Could this be considered bulimia?
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Well-known member
Jan 25, 2012
I'm sorry, I don't know the answer to your question, I hope someone with experience of eating disorders will be able to help. I'm glad you say you don't feel bad about yourself for the way you eat. Just wanted to welcome you to the forum and say I hope you find it helpful :welcome:


Well-known member
May 4, 2009
It's all on a spectrum, but in my opinion, probably not. Bulimic-style approaches to food are a cultural norm nowadays. A lot of people - especially women - are afraid of gaining weight (and this can become an obsession) and a lot of people attempt to 'balance out' unhealthy foods but find themselves drawn to them. It's more of an indictment of a very unhealthy attitude towards food in our own society.

Bulimia must include both binges (in which a person eats a very large amount of food - doesn't have to be unhealthy, but usually is - out of a strong feeling of compulsion, ignoring all physical signs to stop, such as appetite), followed by an attempt to balance that out by either starving oneself deliberately with the purpose of losing weight (this looks like anorexia - so extreme starvation, obsessive calorie counting, weighing self constantly, obsession with losing weight even if they haven't actually put any on), or purging or excessive exercise -again, forced by a strong compulsion to do so and ignoring physical signs to stop (such as fainting, poor physical health, hunger etc.)

Bulimia is essentially a cultural norm taken to an extreme. When I was bulimic, my binges felt like trances. I would go into a different frame of mind and eat compulsively, sometimes putting two meals into my mouth at once to get as much down me as I could. If unhealthy food was not available, I would binge on anything in the house - plain pasta if that's all I could get - and continue until I was forced to stop by pain or breathing difficulties (when your stomach expands to a large degree it puts pressure on your diaphragm and makes it difficult to breathe in). There have been cases of death in bulimics due to rupture of the stomach. So it's a very extreme kind of bingeing.

I think nowadays a lot of people use the word binge to mean 'have a lot of', but just as binge drinking (having a lot of alcohol at once) is not the same as an alcoholic binge (drinking until you pass out then waking up and drinking more),it's a question of extremity.

You sound pretty normal on the eating front to me :)
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Dec 27, 2014
The fact you don't eat to compensate for the calories you have eaten rings very true with a disorder I had after I was "treated" for my anorexia and bulimia. It's called binge eating disorder.it's where you will eat and eat and eat, then eat little or nothing at all to make up for the calories you have consumed. It's a 'newer' ED.
I'm not a doctor, though, so don't take my word for it. If it were me, I would go to the doctor and ask to see a mental health professional to find out. At least that way, if it is binge eating disorder, you can get early treatment. If it's not, then great but I'm a strong believer in "better safe than sorry".


Oct 4, 2014
I think what you have is something with both anorexic and bulimic tendencies, an eating disorder otherwise specified. from personal experience it's good to talk to someone. And write down your triggers for over-eating and not wanting to gain weight etc. It's helped me a lot to also take note my tendencies so I know what i'm doing. If things progress to anything more worrying or obsessive id also consider seeing a trained doctor who may help you more than friends or family could, it's best to stop these things before they do become anything serious, because as i'm sure your already well aware eating disorders are life or death type of illness's. I hope this has helped in making you more aware of everything and wish you luck for the future :)
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