There's no way to tell by looks alone whether a person is bulimic. Bulimia nervosa, also known as binge-purge disorder, is, like the related eating disorder anorexia, marked by severely restrictive eating, but the extreme dieting is punctuated by bouts of out-of-control binge-eating. Most often, they are followed by purging, or self-induced vomiting, and less often by the use of laxatives or diuretics, or other compensatory behaviors such as fasting or overexercising. The disorder typically begins during adolescence, and cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy is the treatment of choice.

Recent Posts on Bulimia Nervosa

5 Ways to Measure the Fitness of Your Exercise Mindset

Moderate exercise is associated with benefits on mood, anxiety, cognition, and sleep. But how much exercise is too much exercise? Here are 5 ways to evaluate your exercise pattern and mindset to ensure that you are working towards true physical and psychological health.

Do You Have an Undiagnosed Eating Disorder?

An eating disorder is a time bomb waiting to go off—and it may be about to go off in your life.

The Self "Loathsome Gluttony" of Binge-eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder (BED) is a new diagnostic category in psychiatry's DSM-5 although it was first described in 1959. Already pharmaceutical companies are heavily marketing their medications to this new population.

Anorexia Affects More Men Than Previously Thought

Anorexia and bulimia are traditionally seen as “female problems” but recent studies show that approximately one third of people with anorexia and about one half of those with bulimia are men.

3 Myths About Eating Disorders Debunked

By Nicole Avena Ph.D. on February 24, 2015 in Food Junkie
Eating disorders can be very difficult to understand. In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, take some time to learn a bit more about these disorders and the truth behind a handful of myths that surround them.

Therapy and Weight Loss

How can mental health providers assist in your weight loss goals? Read on to learn more...

What's Wrong With 'Fat Shaming?'

By Gabriel C. S. Gavin on January 04, 2015 in Wiring the Mind
Gabriel Gavin discusses the so-called 'Fat Acceptance' movement, who seek to counter negative portrayals which give rise to mental health problems, eating disorders and cause people to actually gain weight.

How To Do Christmas Better

By Emily T. Troscianko on December 12, 2014 in A Hunger Artist
This post is for anyone who finds themselves somewhere between a restrictive eating disorder and full recovery – or who just generally struggles a bit with Christmas. It’s about finding ways of making Christmas happier, healthier, and more connected, and it invites you to share your own concrete plans for doing better this Christmas.

Eating Disorders in Boys and Young Men

By Alexis Conason Psy.D. on December 04, 2014 in Eating Mindfully
How many men struggle with eating disorders? Traditional definitions of eating disorders don't always apply to men due to different body ideals for men and women, but this doesn't mean that men are unaffected by eating disorders. In fact, eating disorders in men are often under diagnosed.

Adolescent Girls and “Not-Quite" Eating Disorders

Do you encourage or freak out if your normal weight teen wants to diet? When it comes to the thin-line of adolescent girls' "not quite" eating disorders, parents face new challenges—even when childhood eating issues have been minimal or non-existent before.

Understanding Binge Eating Disorder

When people think of "eating disorders," anorexia and bulimia typically come to mind. Binge Eating Disorder is less well-known and less studied but an important diagnosis to understand and treat. Read on to learn more.

Filling the Hole in Your Heart: Recovering from Childhood

By Peg Streep on October 23, 2014 in Tech Support
The human conundrum is that we are hardwired to need and want deep emotional connections with our mothers during infancy and childhood and that being deprived of those connections has lasting effects. But recovery is possible.

Are Emotions (and Their Regulation) Contagious?

By Amelia Aldao Ph.D. on October 20, 2014 in Sweet Emotion
How others can play a central role in our emotions and mental health.

Men's Bodies

By Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN on October 09, 2014 in Cravings
Many men have food and body image issues, but they are less likely than women to talk about them.

Disclosing One’s Own Disorder to Prove Recovery is Possible

By Nancy Matsumoto on October 08, 2014 in Eating Disorders News
The anxiety surrounding giving up an eating disorder is immense.

Mystical Healing

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When Healthy Eating Turns Unhealthy: Orthorexia Nervosa

By Sylvia R Karasu M.D. on September 27, 2014 in The Gravity of Weight
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Forever Young - Through Humor and Surgery

By Joan Ullman M.A. on September 26, 2014 in Uncharted Customs
The late comic icon, Joan Rivers, like writer Daphne Merkin, and psychologist/blogger, Joan Ullman, have all voiced at times extreme unhappiness with their physical appearance - what in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is termed Bodily Dysmorphic Disorder. But far from having been undone, each woman triumphed over her affliction.

"Remnants of a Life on Paper"–A Book Review

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Duplicity, Lies, Manipulation, and Eating Disorders

Many patients with eating disorders lie about their symptoms to cover up. For some patients, manipulating and lying to others is painful and shameful. For other patients, deceiving others and covering up their symptoms is a way of life. Here are the recovery issues facing these different types of patients.

Eleven Ways REBT Can Help Anorexia

By Pamela D. Garcy Ph.D. on June 23, 2014 in Fearless You
Because anorexia is fed by distressing and inaccurate thinking, therapies such as REBT, which teach patients how to think, may be useful to people with this condition.

Why the Clinical Scientist Model Fails

By Gregg Henriques on June 10, 2014 in Theory of Knowledge
This blog explains why the clinical scientist model for training in clinical psychology fails. The short answer is that one cannot reduce the practice of psychology to the science.

Inside the Eating-Disordered Mind

Eating disorders are associated with have mild cognitive impairments that can have far-reaching consequences. These impairments do not necessarily go away when patients get healthy. Acknowledging these impairments can promote better heath for victims and better understanding for all involved.

Mental Illness in the Happiest Nation on Earth

It's high time we faced up to the fact that mental illness is commonplace and no more shameful than physical illness.

What Anorexics Really Feel About Food

By Emily T. Troscianko on May 15, 2014 in A Hunger Artist
What’s really going on when people suffering from anorexia refuse to eat? It isn’t usually as simple as not experiencing hunger, and a profound enjoyment of food is often also part of the illness. So what are the mechanisms driving the destructive and sometimes deadly abnormalities in how feeling hunger and liking food relate to wanting food and eating it?

Biology of the Binge: Food, Mood, and Serotonin

Many people crave sweet and starchy foods when depressed. Recent studies suggest a biochemical connection between bingeing and mood disorders.

Addiction, Trauma, and the Compartments in Your Head

Trauma and addiction allows people to create a psychic architecture that requires a lot of walls, closets, compartments, and closed doors.

Why Diets Can Be Dangerous

There are times when a diet turns into something else and becomes an eating disorder. No one intends this to happen, but it can when someone becomes so exhilarated at seeing a weight loss and feeling so in control of their weight that they make their diet even stricter and more weight loss follows. And then the diet becomes out of control, like a runaway train.

Getting Well Ain't Easy

Patients with eating disorders struggle to get well. Sometimes despair, loss of hope and "why bother" attitudes set in. Finding and maintaining the motivation to hang in there involves commitment, courage and kindness. Relationships matter in recovery. Kind voices, empathy and trust in those around you can help maintain motivation.

Eating Disorders in the Online World

By Emily T. Troscianko on March 25, 2014 in A Hunger Artist
The internet can be a dangerous place where people suffering from eating disorders offer each other encouragement to be ill ‘better’. What are the forces driving this worrying development, and what can we do about it?