The causes of bulimia are difficult to pin down. They are largely psychological in nature, but hereditary and biological factors can also play a role. Most of the time the vomiting addiction is based on a disorder of body perception.
An important aspect of the causes of bulimia is a distorted self-image: Patients have problems with their self-esteem and often feel that they are too fat even though they are slim. This so-called body schema disorder often triggers an eating disorder.
Slimness as an ideal
The media claim thinness as a social ideal of beauty. Young women in particular often feel pressured and starved to keep up with it. In the case of bulimia, they then suffer from regular eating attacks, which they try to counterbalance with extreme diets, exercise or with the help of laxatives. The eating attacks are a typical sign that those affected have problems controlling behavioral impulses.
Other causes of vomiting addiction
Bulimia can also have other causes. For example, these can have their roots in the family: Many of those affected come from families with increased pressure to perform, but in which problems are often not discussed. This pressure can trigger the vomiting addiction. Biological factors can also play a role. For the relatives of those affected, the risk of developing bulimia is higher than for other people. This suggests a possible genetic cause, but researchers have not yet been able to determine anything specific.