Bulimia Nervosa is an Eating Disorder identified by recurrent episodes of binge eating followed by compensatory behaviors, or behaviors designed to “make up for” the binge episode. While the most recognizable of these behaviors is self-induced vomiting, there unfortunately are numerous other compensatory behaviors associated with this illness.
Many individuals do not consider themselves to have Bulimia Nervosa simply because they do not engage in self-induced vomiting. However, Bulimia Nervosa features a purging sub-type and a non-purging subtype. Sometimes the non-purging subtype of Bulimia goes undiagnosed for a long time, because even treatment professionals don’t realize this distinction.
Bulimia Nervosa is also classified as a “severe” mental disorder under mental health parity law. The effects of this illness are often subtle to identify, but can be catastrophic and even fatal. One part of the problem is that because individuals with Bulimia Nervosa often use behaviors in secrecy and may not appear drastically underweight, their illness goes unnoticed by others.
The cumulative toll this takes on a person over time is hard to quantify, but sufferers have shared in great detail the serious impact Bulimia Nervosa has on their lives. Once the problem is recognized, healing can begin and sufferers can establish new patterns and replace bulimic behaviors with normal eating.
The Cielo House Approach to Bulimia:
Our approach to Bulimia may be unique, but we have found it to be very helpful. In a nutshell, conquer your binge foods. We believe that things we resist persist and in order to regain control over bulimic behaviors you can’t simply avoid triggering foods for the rest of your life.
The combination of safely consuming appropriate quantities of “binge” foods and having the 24-hour supervision to interrupt eating disorder behavior can help people get out of the cycle of Bulimia.
Eventually, our clients learn to enjoy the foods they love in appropriate quantities and often say they couldn’t imagine binging on those foods anymore.