Bulimia is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating and then finding unhealthy ways to get rid of the weight gain, such as purging oneself. The potentially life-threatening disorder is closely tied to an individual's self-worth, as a person who has bulimia often suffers from depression and has a negative self-image. Bulimia therapy aims to help patients feel better about themselves, find healthier ways to eat, and overcome serious health difficulties. Psychotherapy, where a person discusses his condition and associated issues, is often used as treatment.
Bulimia therapy centers on preventing the vicious circle of binging and purging in order to establish regular eating patterns. This involves watching eating habits and staying clear of situations that may promote unhealthy eating. In addition, a person finds ways to deal with stress that does not require food. Therapy also stresses eating regularly to lower food cravings and resisting the compulsion to purge.
Another phase of therapy includes recognizing and altering dysfunctional thoughts about weight, eating, and body image. Treatment includes evaluating attitudes about eating. A person experiencing bulimia reconsiders that self-image is tied in with his weight.
Emotional issues are also considered during bulimia therapy. By examining such issues, a person with bulimia can typically determine what is the root cause of the disorder. Bulimia therapy often examines a variety of things a person may experience during bulimia. This may include depression and feelings of inadequacy and isolation.
Cognitive behavioral therapy also is used in bulimia therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on how people's beliefs establishes how they act. Under this type of therapy, a person determines what negative thoughts and behaviors trigger bulimia. Once these are identified, the patient replaces negative thoughts with more positive beliefs. One of the most important beliefs addressed is examining the idea that unhealthy eating helps a person stay thin.
In cases where children and teens experience bulimia, therapy may be family based. With therapy involving the family, a central principle is that the person with the eating disorder is no longer able to make rational decisions concerning his well being. This type of bulimia therapy involves examining and rectifying family conflicts and receiving support from family members. Also, family members play an important role in making sure a person with bulimia follows healthy eating plans.
Support groups can be effective methods of bulimia therapy. Members of support groups are going through similar experiences. Support groups can provide encouragement and understanding for people dealing with the disorder.