Eating disorders such as Bulimia Nervosa are all about control. In particular, sufferers of Bulimia struggle with their ability to control their eating patterns. Teenagers with Bulimia vacillate between periods of good control over their food intake and periods of total dysfunction. They often fall into a pattern of restricting food intake, followed by a binge, which is then followed by a frantic attempt to undo the perceived damage of the binge. These behaviors include self-induced vomiting, abusing laxatives and diuretics or over exercising.
What is Bulimia Nervosa?
Bulimia is a psychiatric disorder that is characterized by impaired eating patterns. Specifically, a person with Bulimia attempts to control weight gain by “purging” themselves of the food they have consumed in episodes known as “binges”. Bulimics binge by eating vast amounts of typically high calorie foods. Following a binge the person feels immense shame and guilt, and attempts to rectify the situation by purging. Purging can include self induced vomiting, laxative or diuretic abuse or extreme exercise. Purging is almost always done in secret, leaving the sufferers’ friends and family unaware of the severity of the behavior.
Bulimia is a potentially life threatening condition. Complications of Bulimia include dehydration, kidney failure, heart problems, tooth decay and gum disease, digestive problems, anxiety and depression and misuse of alcohol or drugs.
At Adolescent Growth, recovery from Bulimia is possible. Clients are treated with an individualized program that targets maladaptive eating behaviors as well as the underlying emotional causes of the disorder. The teen’s treatment team consists of psychiatrists, medical doctors, licensed clinicians, therapists, licensed nurses, group therapists, academic facilitators, dietitians and other highly trained professionals.