Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by an extreme preoccupation with losing or maintaining a certain weight, and unhappiness with one’s body size or shape. Most (85 to 90% ) people who suffer from Bulimia are women, and all races and socioeconomic groups can be affected. The age of onset was historically 19 years, but younger teens afflicted with bulimia are becoming increasingly common. Bulimics regularly binge eat, or eat unusually large quantities of food in a short period time, and then purge through vomiting, laxative or diuretic abuse, or over exercise. A feeling of lack of control over one’s eating binges is very common. Anxiety, depression and substance abuse can accompany bulimia. Stress, low self- esteem, genetics, brain chemistry, and personality traits can all be predisposing factors in developing bulimia. People with bulimia tend to be good at hiding their binge and purge behaviors and often feel very shameful about their disease. Tell- tale signs of Bulimia can be broken blood vessels around the eyes (from vomiting), swollen cheeks or jaws, discolored or clear teeth, and extreme fatigue.
Since Bulimia involves both physiological and psychological factors, it is best treated using a team approach. Psychotherapists, Medical Doctors and Registered Dieticians collaborate to treat the client on all levels: psychologically, emotionally and physically, with counseling, medical care, nutritional guidance, and medication as necessary. Antidepressant and other medication can sometimes be an aspect of proper treatment of bulimia. Psychotherapy using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Dialectic Behavioral therapy (DBT), has been proven to be effective. AT EDTC, we use this team approach and the many psycho-therapeutic methods in our skill set to help clients suffering from the symptoms and effects of bulimia.