Eating disorders affect both men and women and aren’t limited to adolescents. The underlying causes of bulimia affect individuals of all walks of life.
Who is at Risk for Bulimia?
Generally speaking, anyone can develop bulimia. Though adolescent girls and young women are statistically the majority of those diagnosed with bulimia, eating disorders have become common in adolescent males, as well.
Middle aged women also have increased diagnoses in the past few decades, and even a small portion of the elderly. An increased awareness that bulimia can affect anyone can help raise support and compassion for individuals who suffer from bulimia.
What are the Causes of Bulimia?
Bulimia, like most eating disorders, can be caused by many factors and typically is the result of several. While not everyone with the common characteristics will develop bulimia, certain traits are common in individuals observed in people with bulimia, including:
- Chemical imbalances in the brain
- Difficulty expressing emotions or unpredictable emotions
- Hobbies or professions that place an emphasis on appearance
- Low self-esteem
- Major life changes
- Parents with eating disorders or who place an excessive importance on appearance and physical performance
- Trauma or abuse, often sexual.
Are Chemicals or Society to Blame?
Many doctors believe that both chemicals and society are generally to blame, though individuals may suffer more from one than the other.
The importance of mental health in association with any of these possible causes is still being researched as medical science attempts to understand the role chemicals and hormones play in eating disorders. While many individuals diagnosed with eating disorders also suffer from other mental disorders such as chronic depression, just as many don’t.