Bulimia in Childhood: Physical and Psychogenic Causes
It is a relatively rare occurrence in childhood and is also called bulimia. It is manifested by a pronounced greed of the child for food, which regularly leads to marked weight gain. Such a child should first undergo a detailed physical examination to determine whether he is suffering from dysfunction of the endocrine glands. If this is not the case, then bulimia is of psychogenic origin. It is regularly a compensation by which the child tries to make up for the emotional deficit, that is, to resolve the neurotic conflict within himself. These are most often emotionally neglected children. They find satisfaction in the excessive enjoyment of food for the lack of any warmer feelings in the environment in which they live.
The Emotional Roots of Childhood Bulimia
So we had a chance to observe a conspicuous greed for food in a 14-year-old boy who has been wandering around orphanages since the age of three. He never managed to connect with any educator in any closer emotional contact because in 11 years he changed no less than 9 homes. He never met his parents. In addition, he is intellectually dull. There are also cases of excessive food greed in such children. They often experience frustrations, feel immature with their tasks and unable to keep up with their peers. This can motivate them to seek satisfaction in excessive food enjoyment.
Neglected Children and their Compensatory Relationship with Food
And children who feel neglected are also at times conspicuously greedy for food. These are sometimes very insecure, incompetent, mostly spoiled children. They seem to stifle their sense of their own insufficiency and dissatisfaction with themselves in huge amounts of food, much like adults sometimes try to drown their life failures in excessive alcohol consumption.