Is Bulimia Nervosa Treatable?

Nowadays, the increasing pressure to have this hourglass, model-like body is very observable. Even little kids already know what is physically attractive and what is not. This unrealistic notion influences the youth to pursue these outrageous standards. Hence, several problems such as eating disorders, depression, and obsession arise.

Someone who is struggling with an eating disorder may attempt to eat “normally” in the presence of others, and then look for opportunities to be alone to find ways to binge or purge. — Lisa Ferentz LCSW-C, DAPA

It is totally fine to be physically fit and healthy, but if you are overdoing it, that’s a different discussion. One of the most common problems that this specific standard of having an hourglass figure creates is an eating disorder.

Different Types of Eating Disorder

There are three major types of eating disorders. Anorexia nervosa is the condition wherein the individual restricts the intake of food to avoid being fat when in reality, the person is already thin. The second one is called binge eating disorder which is characterized by an uncontrollable urge to eat despite being full or not being hungry. Lastly, bulimia nervosa is characterized by purging, vomiting, or exercising excessively after binge eating.


Let’s Focus on Bulimia Nervosa

Apparently, you should know that there are two common types of bulimia nervosa. The first one is the purging type which is characterized by self-induced vomiting or abuse of laxatives to compensate after a binging episode. The second type is the non-purging bulimia nervosa. This form does not engage in self-induced vomiting. Rather, the individual who has this condition compensates by exercising excessively or fasting for extended periods of time.

Opposing and competitive opinions and theoretical perspectives in conjunction with discrepancies and inconclusive outcomes in quantitative and qualitative research continue to make it difficult to understanding causation and therefore establish solid treatment protocols. — Judy Scheel Ph.D., L.C.S.W., CEDS


The typical causes of bulimia are usually stress, negative body image, low self-esteem, history of abuse or trauma, and/or other related factors. Despite these known factors, the specific cause of bulimia nervosa is not yet identified.

What can we do to treat Bulimia Nervosa?

Given the knowledge that you already know about bulimia nervosa, you probably have an idea what you can do to prevent it. Since one of the underlying factors for this condition is low self-esteem and the need to be thin just to be accepted by the society, it is understandable that doing activities to boost your morale can help. These activities, such as playing sports, joining a club, and others can help in increasing self-esteem, therefore lowering the risk for bulimia nervosa.

Another helpful treatment would be to discontinue the binge-purge cycle and to improve your negative thoughts so you won’t feel guilty about yourself and end up purging or over-exercising again. Re-establishing the way that you view yourself can help you erase the irrational beliefs about your weight or your body shape. As long as you are healthy, you are perfect the way you are.



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

The most important treatment is to seek out a professional that can help you through the process of dealing with bulimia nervosa. This kind of disorder can lead to serious medical complications. Delaying to seek out for help is a really bad idea.

If you know anyone who is having a hard time dealing with their eating habits, he or she might be at risk of developing bulimia nervosa. Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help.