An illness that is increasingly reported among many adolescents today is called bulimia nervosa, a certain type of eating disorder that is characterized by periods of overeating followed by purging. The purging is self-induced through vomiting or with the use of laxatives. It is different from anorexia nervosa, another type of eating disorder where a person becomes too thin due to severe lack of food consumption. Anorexia is triggered by an irrational fear of being fat or being perceived as overweight. Women are more likely to have such eating disorders than men. These disorders usually begin during the teenage years and are often accompanied by depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse. Some individuals who develop eating disorders can also experience depression and anxiety. Experts also think that many of these people may already have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). There is also some evidence that eating disorders run in families.
Although eating disorders in the U.S. are now openly discussed to increase public awareness and discussion, women still suffer from these conditions around the world — most of the time, in secret. No one is really sure of its cause (but there are many theories regarding this), and the number of sufferers still continue to grow. Whatever the cause might be, the effects of this disorder can be damaging, devastating and occasionally life threatening. People who weigh at least fifteen percent less than the normal weight for their height may not have enough body fat to keep their organs and other body parts healthy. People who suffer from bulimia often experience stomach pain. Like those patients of anorexia, girls with bulimia may stop getting their monthly periods. The most dangerous fact of having bulimia would be the constant purging that can eventually lead to loss of the mineral potassium, which can contribute to heart problems and even death. Despite this, all anorexia and bulimia patients can and will get well after proper medical treatments. People with eating disorders get well, usually returning to strong, confident and healthy individuals relatively quickly. Since anorexia and bulimia cases involve the mind and body, Spain has offered treatments that incorporates CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), hypnotherapy, and NLP (neuro linguistic programming) that should be undertaken after proper consultation with the doctor. A small British clinic in South of Spain is fast acquiring good reputation for its success in treating individuals suffering from anorexia and bulimia. They have a CBT-based approach that is highly focused and is designed to guarantee in treating the cause rather than the symptom of the problem. This may sound like a generalization of the idea, but is a common mistake to make during medical treatments. People have experienced something in the past that played a critical role in the development of such disorder. More often than not, once the cause is revealed and understood, the improvement from the patient can be dramatic provided that the clinic involves dieticians and nutritionists’ help during the treatment process. The very basis of psychological treatment is by forming a trustworthy relationship with the therapist and addressing issues such as feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that lead to the development and maintenance of the eating disorder. It may include issues on anxiety, poor self-esteem, depression, self-confidence, and difficulties with interpersonal relationships. By using CBT as treatment, this encourages people to re-examine and challenge existing thought and behavior patterns. By utilizing every aspect of treatment for bulimia, women can be go back on the track towards health — physically and psychologically.