Bulimia Nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by frequent episodes of binge eating with feeling a lack of control over the eating, followed by a behavior (or behaviors) that compensates for the binge, such as vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, excessive exercise, etc. Psychological symptoms include depression, guilt and self-condemnation.
While low self-esteem and concerns about weight, shape, and body image play major roles, there are many other contributing causes to a bulimia diagnosis. Often, people who struggle with bulimia have difficulty managing emotions in an appropriate and healthy way. Eating can be an emotional release so someone battling bulimia may binge and purge when feeling angry, depressed, stressed, or anxious.
Individuals with a bulimia diagnosis often feel tremendous guilt and shame around their binging and purging behaviors. They may view themselves as useless, worthless, and unattractive. Co-occurring issues often include depression, poor body image, and low self-esteem.
The following Behavioral Characteristics are common patterns that are often seen in bulimia diagnosis:
Behavioral Characteristics (common patterns)*
- Frequent episodes of consuming very large amounts of food followed by behaviors to prevent weight gain
- Fear of inability to stop eating voluntarily, feeling of being out of control during the binge-eating episodes
- Fasting and/or compulsive exercising alternating with binging
- Vomiting, laxative, diuretic, or diet pill abuse
- Shoplifting and/or petty stealing of money to buy binge food
- Secretive food foraging and hoarding
- Sleep disturbances
- Often dresses to hide body shape
- Social irregularities, alternating withdrawal with erratic need for social contact and approval, possible chaotic relationships and interactions
- Possible drug and/or alcohol abuse
- Suicidal gestures or attempts, self-hatred and self-mutilation, feeling of self-disgust
*Patterns, systems and traits may vary from one person to another
Click here to take our online quiz to see if you are living a lifestyle that shows Bulimic tendencies.
Center for Change is a bulimia treatment center offering hope and healing for adolescent girls and adult women who are struggling with eating disorders. Bulimia Treatment options range from outpatient services (therapy and dietary), day (PHP) and evening (IOP) programs, residential treatment (RTC) and inpatient hospitalization — depending on the needs of the patient and the severity of the illness. At Center for Change we offer all of these levels of care in order to provide the most appropriate bulimia treatment options and meet the needs of our patients. To learn more about our treatment program for Bulimia Nervosa or to schedule a free assessment, call 888-224-8250.