There is a widespread belief that eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are confined solely to women in their teens. In the popular imagination once the sufferer had left his or her teens behind his or her symptoms miraculously disappear. Sadly, this is not always the case.
A very good friends of mine, Liza O’Neil, is a twenty five year old example of someone whose eating disorder did not cease when she reached her left her teenagers years. After a brief period of anorexia when she was in her early teens, Liza developed bulimia. Liza says, ‘My problems with my body began when I was about twelve and people made comments about the extra weight I was carrying. In hindsight I realized that I was never clinically overweight just carrying a little puppy fat but I was made, as a result of the insensitivity of others, to feel as though I was elephantine.’
Liza has oscillated between anorexia and bulimia for most of her adult life. She is now on the borderline between anorexia and bulimia and is clearly deteriorating rapidly. And there seems to be nothing we can do about it. Just stand on the sidelines and watch her decline. And the hand with which she reached out to the medical profession for help was simply brushed aside.