Bulimia is a recent pathology related to anorexia. It developed in the '80s and is often a consequence of anorexia. It is a short of “great hunger” characterised by gorging food and then followed by forced vomiting, by fasting or by laxative or amphetamine abuse.
Whereas anorexics are able to control their need for food, bulimics are weaker and react by gorging themselves regularly, swallowing a lot of food in a short time and then vomiting so as not to get fat.
They have little control over their impulses and food becomes a drug. They are obsessed with fatness but they are unable to stop eating. Each gorging session is followed by the compulsive desire to get rid of the hated food.
This situation creates states of anxiety and depression which are then compensated for by eating in secret and loneliness, as bulimics feel ashamed and guilty about their contradictory behaviour.
Unlike anorexics, the bulimic can usually function quite normally, even if with some difficulty, and rarely requires hospitalisation. Bulimia is not evident but hidden and denied with terrible mental suffering. It is both a psychical and psychological illness which generally affects older girls in their twenties who are apparently sociable, extrovert and openminded. But their reality is a chaotic life style, and food disorder becomes a way to escape other problems which are often related to a difficult life at home.