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

Mending the Eating Disorder Fence: Neither This nor That

Attachment issues in children and adults are precursors or precipitating factors in the development of eating disorders. What does this mean?

Are Doctors Prescribing Bulimia as a Weight-Loss Tool?

AspireAssist, a device newly approved by the FDA, shows us just how far we are willing to go in our quest for weight loss.

“Mom, I Feel Fat"

By Marcia Morris M.D. on June 05, 2016 in College Wellness
The National Eating Disorders Association shows that over a 13-year period, eating disorders increased from 7.9 to 25% for males and 23.4% to 32.6% for females.

How Much Exercise Is Too Much?

By Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN on June 03, 2016 in Cravings
Is exercise becoming an obsession? Too much of this good thing can hurt you.

How to Free Yourself From Unwanted Temptations

By Nicole Mead Ph.D. on April 08, 2016 in The Happy Consumer
Are you tired of trying to restrict your food intake? Try telling yourself "some other time" instead of "no, not ever."
PTSD and Its Relationship to Eating Disorders

PTSD and Its Relationship to Eating Disorders

It is estimated that at least 30% of all eating disorder sufferers have been sexually abused. Eating Disorder symptoms replay the trauma.

6 Things I Hate in Movies

Hollywood has a cocaine-induced view of the human condition.

How Can Positive Psychology Be More Open to the Negative?

By Todd B. Kashdan Ph.D. on March 10, 2016 in Curious?
When people shut their eyes to the negative, they limit themselves—missing important insights that could prove to be invaluable to psychology.

Are Elite Athletics a Breeding Ground for Eating Disorders?

By Alexis Conason Psy.D. on February 21, 2016 in Eating Mindfully
Are elite athletics a paradigm of health or a breeding ground for eating disorders? A new study explores the impact of eating disorders in adolescent elite athletes.

Why Do We Eat When We're Not Hungry?

By Eliezer J. Sternberg M.D. on January 25, 2016 in NeuroLogic
Scientists have discovered a brain circuit that may cause overeating...as well as the strategy to overcome it.
iStock/Used with Permission

Overcoming Bulimia Is Possible

By Marty Babits on December 09, 2015 in The Middle Ground
Learning to become a therapist requires the acquisition of many subtle skill sets.

In Defense of the Bagel

Americans have an endless obsession with diets and eating or not eating foods in an effort to lose weight, bloat or fat. Often the food restrictions or diet imposed serve to induce bingeing at some point. The gluten-free environment has left the friendly bagel maligned or at least misrepresented.

The Importance of Accepting Painful Emotions:

Getting good with feeling bad goes a long way in the recovery from an eating disorder. Patients often have pre-existing anxiety and/or depression. But, disengagement from emotions is different from an anxious or depressed mood. Feelings matter before, during and after recovery. Emotional awareness and expression in relationships are key in recovery and in bonding.

What Causes Out-Of-Control Eating?

By Carolyn C. Ross M.D., M.P.H. on October 30, 2015 in Real Healing
Food cravings affect millions of Americans but for some, these cravings may be an indication of an addictive relationship with food.

What is an Addiction?

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on October 20, 2015 in Minority Report
The clinical and therapeutic communities have come a long way in understanding addictions yet questions still persist as to the root causes of addictions. Is it a disease rooted in genetics and/or biology, is it a disorder of mental or psychological suffering, or is it one of depravity where the origin is of a spiritual issue? The answer depends.
Neel Burton

Psychiatric Imperialism: Exporting Western Mental Disorders

By Neel Burton M.D. on October 16, 2015 in Hide and Seek
Mental disorders as culturally determined and legitimized templates for distress.

Manipulation in Families with Eating Disorders

It is extraordinarily difficult and wearing for family members to deal with a child with an eating disorder. When manipulation enters, it is easy to lose recovery ground. Understanding and responding to manipulation with compassion and authentic expression can be achieved.

Hormones Play Leading Role in Eating Disorder Risk

By Kelly Klump Ph.D. on September 08, 2015 in The Science Behind Eating Disorders
Every month, women face a recurring cycle that can throw our bodies out of whack and make some of us suffer in many ways. Not only can the ovarian hormones that drive the menstrual cycle makes us emotional, but they may be flipping switches on the genes that make some women more vulnerable to eating disorder symptoms.

5 Ways to Measure the Fitness of Your Exercise Mindset

By Deborah R. Glasofer Ph.D. on July 01, 2015 in Managing Your 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.

New DSM-5 Disorder Spurs FDA Drug Approval, Expanded Market

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on February 14, 2015 in Side Effects
A drug-maker's blunt challenge: “increase the numbers of patients diagnosed.”

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

By Terese Weinstein Katz Ph.D. on November 20, 2014 in Thin from Within
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.