Self Help Strategies For Dealing With Bulimia Nervosa


Bulimia nervosa is one of the gravest of eating disorders that ends up taking a huge toll on the affected individual, both physically and mentally. The bulimic suffers from a low self-esteem and is preoccupied with her form and weight. On one hand, the patient is unable to contain her sporadic impulse to binge while on the other, she resorts to bouts of self-imposed purging in order to disgorge the excessive food intake, by gulping diuretics, emetics or laxatives.

Bulimia in an individual often happens to be co-morbid or in other words, the bulimic tends to suffer from an additional psychological problem like major depressive disorder or anxiety disorder. Besides seeking assisted care in the form of an outpatient or inpatient treatment program, a bulimic can abide by some DIY or self-help strategies to cope with the eating disorder. Following are some self-help techniques that a bulimia patient can heed apart from undergoing the regular treatment methods including psychotherapy, group discussions, nutritional counseling, and medicinal therapy.

The person restricting calories, bingeing, purging, or excessively exercising may become anxious about getting caught or irritable when accusing a loved one of being unfairly suspicious or “controlling.” Lisa Ferentz LCSW-C, DAPA

1.Understanding the disorder in depth

Though bulimics are obsessed with gorging followed by a round of purging, the disorder is more psychological in nature than about food. Bingeing on food items is simply a means for tiding over emotional problems revolving around low self-esteem, vulnerability, guilt, and so on. Food furnishes the patient with an outlet to deal with the negative feelings.

So, the next time you’re overtaken with an urge to overeat, just step back and try to figure out what is actually going on in your mind.  Are you really hungry or is it something else that is gnawing you from within? Are you feeling lonely or depressed because you’ve recently lost someone who was very close to you? What is the root cause of your unhappiness?

With a little proactive introspection, you might be able to get to the root of the problem. After you’ve determined the main cause, there are several options that you can choose from for keeping your mind off of food. You can try the following way outs:


  • Get in touch with someone close to you and start a discussion
  • Visit the library and browse through your favorite books
  • Talk a long walk in your neighborhood
  • Listen to soul stirring music
  • Take up a hobby that will help you to make the most of your leisure time like gardening
  • Play with your children or grandchildren
  • Volunteer in social work
  • Become a member of a laughing club or a self-help group
  • Maintain a journal of your daily activities

The truth is: weight is a lousy indication of health. Alexis Conason Psy.D.

2.Try to give up your narcissism


Bulimics happen to be individuals who are obsessed about how they appear to others and their physical appearance. They might spend hours in front of the mirror reflecting on their looks. Preoccupation with your pulchritude or looks usually implies that you’re not delving into or focusing on other virtues you possess.

Just ask yourself if your friends, colleagues, and family members appreciate you for how you appear in their eyes or for what you are as an individual? You don’t need to be a psychiatrist to realize that your fixation with looks is what is lowering your self-esteem and making you feel insecure.

Note down the virtues and innate qualities that makes you endearing to your near and dear ones, on a sheet of paper. Focus on your positive traits instead of dwelling on the negative ones and understand that nobody in this world is perfect in all respects.

Most in the eating disorder professional community agree that to some extent, nature, and indeed nurture and environment are significant contributors and all together they provide a more well rounded opportunity to figuring out causation. — Judy Scheel Ph.D., L.C.S.W., CEDS


Apart from following the aforementioned self-help strategies, follow a disciplined lifestyle, including taking your meals at the same specific time every day, eat fresh and nutritious foods, and abstain from consuming junk foods.