Biological conflicts: fear-disgust conflict, territorial anger conflict, resistance conflict, identity conflict, depending on gender, laterality, and hormone status.
Bulimia (bulimia nervosa) presents as compulsive eating binges followed by compulsive purging. The out-of-control eating (bingeing) is activated from the control center of the alpha islet cells (during conflict activity, the blood sugar drops resulting in hypoglycemia and a craving for food to counterbalance the low glucose level). The urge to vomit (purging) is triggered from the stomach relay (compare with anorexia where vomiting is not compulsive but deliberate to prevent gaining weight). Weight gain is not necessarily the concern of a bulimic. Contrary to anorexics, bulimics can be of normal weight or even overweight, particularly when the conflict related to the alpha islet cells (fear-disgust conflict or resistance conflict) is stronger. In this case, the frenzied consumption of large amounts of food is dominant. If, however, the stomach-related conflict (territorial anger conflict or identity conflict) is accentuated, the compulsive purging takes over – together with a depressed mood (see primary depression). When both conflicts are equally strong, the bulimic is caught in a binge-and-purge cycle. The extent of the compulsions is proportional to the intensity of the conflicts.
Bulimia is strikingly common among women. Girls as young as five and women in their sixties have been diagnosed with bulimia. However, the condition usually emerges during the teenage years. The types of conflicts linked to the Bulimia Constellation offers an explanation why this is the case. A fear-disgust conflict often occurs in association with a distressing sexual experience (sexual abuse, sexual molestation, forced oral sex, exposure to pornography, “disgusting” first time sex, “dirty” sex). A territorial anger conflict typically happens because of anger in the parental home (arguing parents, arguments with a family member) or anger at school (bullying, being badly treated by a teacher). An identity conflict could be brought on by the loss of a parent (emotional neglect, divorce, death) or the loss of a close friend. Losing one’s first love can also prompt an identity conflict of “not knowing where to belong”. In teenage boys, the conflict might be triggered by the distress over one’s sexual identity and “not fitting in”.
The GNM approach is to confirm at what age the second conflict occurred (see conflict sequence) since this was the time when the Bulimia Constellation was established. The overall objective is to resolve that conflict and to develop strategies how to avoid conflict tracks. Once the person is out of constellation, the compulsions stop. In the above case, the resolution of the first identity conflict would cancel both constellations at the same time. CAUTION: Bulimia can cause serious health problems and requires, therefore, medical attention. If an intense conflict related to the alpha islet cells is resolved, it is important to be prepared for an acute drop of glucose (hypoglycemic shock) that occurs during the Epileptoid Crisis.
Conventional therapeutic concepts, including general stress reduction, psychotherapeutic modalities such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, family/systemic therapy, systemic family constellations, or changing the attitudes toward food and weight (developing a meal plan, integrating a healthy diet) might offer a brief relief. Usually, the “success” is short-lived, since the underlying biological conflict(s) have never been addressed.