While most people are aware that bulimia is a common eating disorder, many don’t know it is also a very serious mental health condition that carries potentially life-threatening consequences if left untreated. Typically, people who develop bulimia nervosa have an obsession with their body shape and weight; engaging in cycles of binge-eating and purging to help eliminate “extra” calories from their diet. There is some stigma surrounding the disorder, mainly because most people do not know anything more about the condition than what they have seen on television and in film. There is much more individuals and families should know about bulimia eating disorder.
Five Important Facts About Bulimia Nervosa
1. Bulimia Is a Mental Disorder
Before an individual begins searching for bulimia treatment centers they should first understand bulimia nervosa is a mental disorder. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, common mental disorders like bulimia nervosa are the most fatal mental health conditions in the US today. Because people with bulimia may also have co-occurring mental disorders like depression and anxiety, feelings of shame and guilt surrounding eating disordered behaviors can worsen over time without treatment, potentially resulting in self-harm or even suicide.
2. Bulimia Is Rooted in Compulsive Habits
People with bulimia nervosa may obsess over their body shape, caloric intake, types of food they eat and their exercise routine. One of the main compulsive behaviors of bulimia nervosa is binge-eating large amounts of food in a short period of time. These binge episodes are often followed by intense feelings of guilt and embarrassment and the need to purge calories.
3. Bulimia May Be Genetic
While the exact cause of bulimia nervosa has yet to be identified, most experts agree there is a combination of factors that may lead to the development of the condition. One of the key factors that could cause a person to develop bulimia nervosa is genetics. This means some people could be more likely to develop the condition if a parent has or had a related eating disorder.
4. Bulimia Affects Men, Too
In the media, bulimia nervosa is often portrayed as an illness that only affects young girls and women but, in reality, it is a very common eating disorder that affects men as well. While it is true the disorder typically develops in women during adolescence and early adulthood, up to 15 percent of the people being treated for bulimia nervosa are male.
5. Those With Bulimia Can Have a “Normal” Body Weight
It is a myth that everyone who has bulimia nervosa appears very thin. In fact, people with this type of eating disorder often maintain what would be considered a “normal” body weight for their age and stature. Unlike anorexia nervosa, where people experience an extreme calorie deficit; those with bulimia nervosa may experience episodes of caloric deficits, but still end up consuming more calories overall, even after repeating the cycle of binge-eating and purging.
Where Can I Find Bulimia Treatment Near Me?
Treatment for anorexia and bulimia can be found in a variety of different settings. However, it is recommended parents search for bulimia treatment centers that provide medical, therapeutic and psychiatric care for their loved ones.
At Clementine, we offer professional treatment for anorexia and bulimia nervosa in a comfortable, home-like setting. With access to a supportive and experienced team of professionals including medical doctors, fully-recovered therapists, dietitians and fitness instructors patients can find the tools they need to make a full recovery.