Home » Eating Disorders » Can I Have Bulimia If I’m Overweight?

Can I Have Bulimia If I’m Overweight?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

I binge and purge almost every day but I’m not sure if I’m bulimic. My binges are not always followed by purging and my purging in not always preceded by binging. Sometimes I like the full feeling. Sometimes I’m just searching for the feeling of relief I get when I vomit. I don’t think I’m preoccupied with my weight. Also, I’m genuinely overweight so afraid to discuss this with my psychiatrist in case he thinks I’m making it up.

I think I’m using purging to compensate for my current inability to self harm (I’m at home with my family and they’d see) but it feels out of control. I’m aware I’m probably doing more damage to my body through this than I am through other forms of self harm which my psychiatrist knows about but I’m too ashamed to discuss it with him. Do you think this is an eating disorder? Should I try to discuss it with someone? Can I be overweight and bulimic?

Can I Have Bulimia If I’m Overweight?

Answered by on -


Whether or not you have a specific eating disorder can only be determined by an in-person, mental health evaluation. Binging and purging is unhealthy and most often requires professional mental health treatment.

You are correct about binging and purging damaging your body. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders. Eating disorders can cause severe malnutrition and many sufferers die from heart failure or organ damage.

You should not be ashamed to discuss these issues with your psychiatrist. Without your input and honesty, your psychiatrist cannot properly treat your condition. Your silence is severely hindering your care.

Seeing a psychiatrist might not be enough for you. The most effective treatments involve both medication and therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is particularly helpful for the treatment of eating disorders. CBT can help you to identify and alter the irrational thought patterns that may be underlying your self-harm activities. Studies consistently show that therapy for eating disorders is quite effective.

I would strongly urge you to discuss these issues with your psychiatrist. Ask him or her for a referral to a therapist. Do not continue to keep this problem a secret because you may be doing irreversible damage to your body. There is no reason for you to continue to suffer with problems that are highly treatable. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Can I Have Bulimia If I’m Overweight?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Can I Have Bulimia If I’m Overweight?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 1 Feb 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.