Hospital admissions for bulimia sufferers have risen sharply during lockdown for some simple, but fixable reasons, says Kate Hudson-Hall, an Ashford, Surrey-based eating disorder therapist and author of new book release Bulimia Sucks.
According to the latest NHS Digital data for England, there were 21,794 admissions for eating disorders among all age groups in 2019–20, up by 32% from 16,547 in 2017–18.
Kate, who suffered bulimia and anorexia herself for 15 years before overcoming the illness and training as a psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, and NLP practitioner to help others, explains: ‘Bulimia is a quite evil affliction that is not about losing weight. It’s a serious mental health condition that develops due to a range of biological, social, and psychological reasons.
‘The upsurge in serious bulimia cases during lockdown is part of a widespread decline in the UK’s mental health. People are increasingly lonely, struggling to access professional support, missing family and friends, lacking activity, and so finding themselves reaching for the fridge and snacking out of pure boredom.’
Kate adds that she has written Bulimia Sucks to encourage a better understanding of bulimia by helping people recognise that they are not alone, and that help can be found by telling someone about what they’re experiencing.
She continues: ‘As well as detailing my personal journey of overcoming childhood abuse, poor self-esteem, and ultimately suffering from bulimia and anorexia, the book acts as a practical guide which details how to:
- Stop bingeing and purging, abusing laxatives, diuretics, and compulsive exercising
- Stop negative thoughts, feelings, triggers, and urges
- Improve your body image, and reach and maintain an ideal weight without starving yourself
- Stay motivated and propel yourself into a bulimia-free future
‘At any one time, over 700,000 people in the UK have a diagnosed eating disorder and research suggests that up to 80% of individuals who screen positively for having an eating disorder have never previously accessed help or support. This subject needs to be shouted from the rooftops.’