Bulimia is an eating disorder marked by recurring cycles of food binging and purging or elimination behaviors. Women develop this disorder at five times the rate of men. At any time of the year, eating disorder help for women is a pressing need. That need comes into sharp focus during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which takes place annually. Here are some steps you can take to get help for bulimia during this important week.
Getting Help for Bulimia: Taking a Bulimia Screening Test
Do you think you may be affected by bulimia? The first step in getting the help you need is seeking a proper diagnosis. Only your doctor or a specialist can say for sure if you are affected. However, you can take action even before you seek an official diagnosis.
This is possible because screening tools have been developed for bulimia and other eating disorders. These tools are typically short questionnaires that ask you relevant questions. Specific answers to those questions may point to the presence of a serious problem. Screenings can take place in person or remotely. Ask your doctor for an in-person screening. For a trustworthy remote option, try the screening tool provided by the National Eating Disorders Association.
Getting Help for Bulimia: Seeking a Formal Assessment or Examination
If the results of your screening point to a potential problem, it’s time to seek a formal diagnosis. A doctor or eating disorders specialist must assess your condition to make a diagnosis. This is done with the help of a detailed evaluation and physical exam. Things covered in an assessment include your:
- Personal history, including your eating habits
- General mental health
- Nutritional status
- Family history of obesity and/or bulimia
- Feelings about food and exercising
- Potential symptoms of other kinds of mental health issues
A physical examination will include things such as:
- Your general physical health
- Measurements of your blood pressure and other critical vital signs
- Blood testing
- The condition of your teeth, which can be damaged by purging episodes
A diagnosis will be made based on these and other relevant factors.
Bulimia Help Through Effective Treatment
If you’re diagnosed with bulimia, the next step is finding treatment. Well-designed programs focus on options known to support an effective recovery. One key option for bulimia help is psychotherapy. Many people receive a form of therapy called CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT helps you understand and change the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that help fuel bulimia. You may also benefit from other kinds of therapy. Examples include family therapy and interpersonal therapy.
In combination with therapy, treatment with an antidepressant can help ease your bulimia symptoms. One medication, fluoxetine or Prozac, is approved for this specific purpose. It can provide benefits even if you have no depression symptoms.
Nutritional therapy also plays a significant part in many recovery plans. This therapy helps address the food and eating issues affecting many women with bulimia. It also teaches you to develop healthy eating habits and reduce your future bulimia risks.
Seek Women’s Eating Disorder Rehab at Women’s Recovery
For quality women’s eating disorder rehab, turn to the specialists at Women’s Recovery. We feature gender-specific treatment for all women with bulimia. We provide the same tight focus for the treatment of all other eating disorders.
All eating disorder plans at Women’s Recovery are fully customized. At every stage of treatment, we pay close attention to your progress and changing needs. Our goal is to provide the best recovery support possible. During NEDA Week or any other time of year, we’re here for you. To learn more about how we can help, fill out our online form or call us today at 833.754.0554.