Low self-esteem and poor body image form the heart of bulimia. Therefore, treatment requires using interdisciplinary approaches and interventions to properly address the disorder. Intervention measures target the unhealthy eating habits and the unrealistic thoughts that lead to bulimia. Treatment of bulimia involves psychotherapy, medications, and nutritional education .
Antidepressants may be administered to help reduce symptoms of depression that often accompany eating disorders. They can sometimes be used to reduce the binge-purge cycles. Individuals with positive responses to medication have reported lessening of their carbohydrate cravings and a less relief or pleasure associated with their binge/purge . However, medications alone do not work and further counseling is required to treat the disorder. Medication should be used along with psychotherapy to achieve better results.
It is important that the sufferer be referred to a dietician or other food specialist, who will assist in creating an eating plan. The food health expert will offer advice and guidance on how to achieve a healthy weight, good nutrition, and good eating habits. Nutritional specialists should monitor daily the intake of the individual as adequate nutritional intake can reduce craving and promote satiety . People suffering from bulimia may also benefit from a medically supervised weight loss program.
Psychotherapy involves discussions and psychological counseling with a mental health provider . Psychotherapy involves cognitive behavioral therapy, family-based therapy, and interpersonal psychotherapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This therapy aims to identify unhealthy behaviors and negative beliefs that the sufferer has. Cognitive behavioral therapy tries to understand the triggers of binge eating and examines relationships and emotions. The aim is to replace them with healthy, positive attitudes and behavior . A plan can be developed to assist the individual learn proper coping skills, which is necessary in order to avoid future relapses.
These are intervention measures that help parents detect bulimia in their kids and help them to stop the habit. The therapy tries to explore the family dynamics, dysfunctional relationships, or other factors that may perpetuate the eating disorder . Parents can be advised on how they can help their teenager regain control over their eating. Family-based therapy also involves helping the family deal with problems that bulimia has on the development of a teen and the family.
It addresses difficulties in the close relationships between the sufferer and people around them. Interpersonal therapy examines the relationships that are associated or connected to binge eating and purging. It enables learning of the emotional patterns that follow these relationships and help correct them. The aim of the therapy is to help improve interpersonal skills such as communication and problem-solving. The skills can help bulimia sufferers develop self-help methods and support as they try to make changes in their life. Focusing on interpersonal deficits can help identify the environment that stimulates feelings of low self-esteem and necessary intervention measures can be taken to address the issue.
Residential Treatment Facilities
People suffering from bulimia may need treatment in a hospital. It is possible to create a central place where all the treatments listed are provided . The residential facility should offer treatment programs rather than the normal inpatient hospitalization. In this place, those having serious health complications can be daily monitored as they participate in treatment programs .
The goal of treating bulimia revolves around treating physical complications, eliminating dysfunctional thoughts, and breaking the eating and purging behavior. Bulimia is more of a psychological disorder and therapy should be given much importance. Most of the treatments are combined other options to effectively treat bulimia. Support should be provided to those coping with the disorder to prevent relapse.
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