Bulimia: A Guide to Recovery (25th anniversary edition), by Lindsey Hall & Leigh Cohn

My Copy: 9780936077512 (image from bn.com)

It’s not hard to imagine that the numbers of those suffering from an eating disorder have only increased, even as information about the dangers of eating disorders has only become more widespread. Our current obesity levels are higher than ever before while obsession with body image is about the same.

It may surprise you, though, that this author was one of the first to come out publicly about bulimia, and write one of the first books about the disease.

Bulimia: a guide to recovery is just that–a guide. It’s not a guaranteed fix book, but one that’s full of insights from former sufferers and the author herself. It’s broken up into a few parts: understanding, overcoming, and has a two-week program in the back to stop bingeing. Ms. Hall gives a little of herself in this book, so there’s some element of personal testimony. The introduction alone would be rather shocking to anyone who hasn’t gone through bingeing and purgeing behavior, or been around anyone who has and seen it.

The book goes into asking many of the tough questions regarding how to handle bulimia, for the patient or any caretaker or family. But it also goes in to the many possible avenues for treatment, keeping in mind how to deal with accidental (or purposeful) saboteurs if they discover what the patient is up to.

For the record, sometimes complementing someone on their appearance or weight loss can create a setback scenario, because the patient then wonders why the person decided they had to say that. It’s got a lot of tough minefields for loved ones to tread, but this book will help those family members out with that, too.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this guide was used as a base-text for other books on eating disorders or clinical journal articles. She even includes a chapter that has the full text of the initial pamphlet she wrote, which because of the demand for information, enticed her to write a full book on the subject of bulimia.

Bulimia isn’t pretty, and there are some harsh truths for those suffering from it to learn, especially when confronted by the real world that loved to judge by appearances.

This book I’d recommend for anyone going through bulimic behaviors, or family of someone suffering from it, or any person who always wanted a better understanding of eating disorders ad why they manifest. The answers, admittedly, are as varied as the patients themselves… but that just goes to show it’s hard to know the ones most susceptible to fall back on such behaviors or why.

I’m definitely hanging onto this one, and will loan it out if needed.

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