Bulimia Nervosa & You

How to seek help for yourself or a loved one

What exactly is Bulimia Nervosa?

  • People with bulimia, known as bulimics, consume large amounts of food (binge) and then try to rid themselves of the food and calories (purge) by fasting, excessive exercise, vomiting, or using laxatives. The behavior often serves to reduce stress and relieve anxiety. Because bulimia results from an excessive concern with weight control and self-image, and is often accompanied by depression, it is also considered a psychiatric illness.


Reference: Bulimia Nervosa . (2012). Retrieved from The Free Dictionary : http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/bulimia+nervosa

Possible causes for Bulimia

  • Lack of control over eating – Inability to stop eating. Eating until the point of physical discomfort and pain.
  • Secrecy surrounding eating – Going to the kitchen after everyone else has gone to bed. Going out alone on unexpected food runs. Wanting to eat in privacy.
  • Eating unusually large amounts of food with no obvious change in weight.
  • Disappearance of food, numerous empty wrappers or food containers in the garbage, or hidden stashes of junk food.
  • Alternating between overeating and fasting – Rarely eats normal meals. It’s all-or-nothing when it comes to food.


Reference: Segal, J. &. (2016, April). Bulimia Nervosa. Retrieved from HelpGuide.org: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/eating-disorders/bulimia-nervosa.htm

There is hope! Here are some treatment options!

There are a couple of ways to help treat Bulimia:

  • Medicine: Antidepressants, one example of this would be Fluoxetine (Prozac). This is primary used to reduce binge-purging cycles and to lessen symptoms of depression which can cause the individual to binge eat.
  • Psychological Counseling: With this treatment, there are two different ways to help treat Bulimia through counseling. The first counseling methods is "Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy" in which you learn how to change negative thoughts that you may have about food. The second method is "Interpersonal Psychotherapy" in which you learn how relationships and feelings about those relationships that affect binge eating and purging.


Reference: Bulimia Nervosa - Treatment Overview. (2016). Retrieved from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/eating-disorders/bulimia-nervosa/bulimia-nervosa-treatment-overview

If you or a loved one is suffering from Bulimia...

  • Call the National Eating Disorders Association’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-931-2237 for free referrals, information, and advice.


Reference: Segal, J. &. (2016, April). Bulimia Nervosa. Retrieved from HelpGuide.org: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/eating-disorders/bulimia-nervosa.htm

Common Myths of Bulimia

-Myth: You can tell if someone has an eating disorder simply by looking at them.

-Fact: People with eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes.


-Myth: Eating disorders are caused by photoshopped images in the media.

-Fact: Many people are exposed to the media and altered images on a daily basis but only a small percentage of them actually develop eating disorders.


-Myth: Men don't get eating disorders.

-Fact: About every 1 and 10 people who get eating disorders are male.


Reference: Eating Disorder Facts & Myths. (2016). Retrieved from The Center for Eating Disorders: http://eatingdisorder.org/eating-disorder-information/facts-myths/

References Page


Bulimia Nervosa . (2012). Retrieved from The Free Dictionary : http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/bulimia+nervosa


Bulimia Nervosa - Treatment Overview. (2016). Retrieved from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/eating-disorders/bulimia-nervosa/bulimia-nervosa-treatment-overview


Eating Disorder Facts & Myths. (2016). Retrieved from The Center for Eating Disorders: http://eatingdisorder.org/eating-disorder-information/facts-myths/


Segal, J. &. (2016, April). Bulimia Nervosa. Retrieved from HelpGuide.org: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/eating-disorders/bulimia-nervosa.htm