Dr. Matthew Paldy

The Graphic Nature of Anorexia, Bulimia, and Eating Disorders

The inner lives and fantasies of people with eating disorders can be graphically intense: "Describing his bulimia, Daniel conveyed a vivid perception of being full of inimical foreign bodies. When I started seeing him he was bingeing and vomiting up to six times a day. He was tormented by concrete bodily feelings, of being ‘all dirty inside’. Blocked sinuses and nose contributed to his perception. He said he felt ‘greasy’, ‘full of soot’, ‘disgusting’. Vomiting gave him very temporary relief. He binged on anything he could find or buy with his limited pocket money allowance. He bought mostly loaves of white bread which, he said, was ‘like blotting paper’. It soaked up ‘all the nasties’ that could then be got rid of by vomiting. After being sick, he felt temporarily ‘clean inside’. His mind became clear and for a few hours he could apply himself to his studies. Then ‘the buzz’, as he called it, would start again. When ‘the buzz’ started, Daniel was unable to concentrate. He would press the wrong keys on his word processor, sometimes erasing a file that he wished to put on the memory. He described ‘the buzz’ as ‘thoughts racing through his mind at 150 miles per hour’. It became clear that they were not thoughts he could think or talk about, but something more akin to flying debris..".
-- from Reflections On Some Dynamics Of Eating Disorders: ‘No Entry’ Defences And Foreign Bodies by Gianna Williams.