It’s easy these days, surrounded by social media and constant access to news and serialised dramas, to forget that my own original eating disorder diagnosis, Bulimia Nervosa, is relatively young. The understanding of it is so sketchy that most of the blokes I’ve interacted with via their texts or in person don’t realise that that’s what they are experiencing.
Gerald Russell first published a paper on Bulimia right at the end of the 1970s. That’s not to say that the behaviours that go with the condition had not been documented previously – just that this was the first time it had been separated from Anorexia Nervosa and explored in its own right.
So, no wonder research lags behind (even now) when identifying it, treating it and managing it is so ‘new’. There are Christmas chart hits that are older, heck, it means that clinical understanding of it is only as old as my younger brother… it’s not like we’ve been studying it for decades!