Bulimia nervosa is a serious and potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by a cycle of binge eating followed by compensatory behaviours, often in the form of purging, fasting, excessive exercise, or the use of laxatives or diuretics.
According to the DSM-5, during a binge, a person with bulimia consumes a large amount of food within a short period and experiences a feeling of loss of control. The binge eating is followed by an intense fear of gaining weight, leading to the aforementioned compensatory behaviours.
Individuals with bulimia can be of average weight or overweight, making the disorder sometimes less noticeable. Bulimia nervosa affects all genders and may co-occur with other mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, or substance abuse disorders.
Engaging in binge eating and purging behaviours regularly.
• Feeling out of control during a binge-eating episode.
• Self-esteem overly related to body image.
• Experiencing health complications like gastrointestinal problems or electrolyte imbalances.
• Excessive concern with body size and shape.
Treatment for bulimia nervosa often involves a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and nutrition education. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is considered the most effective treatment, helping individuals identify and change unhealthy thought patterns and behaviours. Family-Based Treatment (FBT) can also be helpful, especially for adolescents.
Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) are other therapeutic approaches. IPT focuses on relationship issues, while DBT provides skills to manage stress and regulate emotions. In some cases, medication like antidepressants may be beneficial.
If you or a loved one is battling with bulimia nervosa, remember that there's hope and help is available. You don't have to face this alone. Our team of empathetic and skilled psychologists is here to assist you in breaking the cycle of bulimia. Reach out to us today, take the first step towards recovery, and start your journey to a healthier, happier you.