Bulimia is defined by eating large amounts of food in secretive binges followed by purging that food via vomiting and/or laxative use. It’s a medical issue, and once the disordered behaviors become a habit, it is important to seek medical treatment to learn how to better manage compulsive behaviors and to learn how to make more functional choices with food.
Goals of Bulimia Treatment
The goals for treatment will be tailored to meet the needs of the individual, but in general, the top four goals of treatment when bulimia is the primary disorder include:
- Identifying distorted perceptions about food. Often, those struggling with eating disorders believe that whole food groups are fattening or unhealthy. They develop rituals in eating, grouping foods or eating large amounts of specific foods in the hopes of avoiding caloric absorption while still allowing them to binge. Recognizing which beliefs are false – and dangerous – is an important part of bulimia treatment.
- Addressing issues of body image. Often those living with bulimia are of normal weight but perceive themselves as overweight. Learning how to more healthfully and accurately define “normal weight” can aid those in recovery in adjusting their self-perceptions.
- Learning how to eat healthfully. Nutritional counseling that teaches patients how to plan meals, shop, cook, and order at restaurants can increase their ability to manage their eating habits and maintain a healthy weight without resorting to disordered eating habits.
- Managing compulsive behaviors. Compulsive binge eating may be triggered by a number of different factors. Identifying the trigger issues in each patient and learning how to better handle those problems without resorting to binge eating is another main goal of treatment.
Personalize Care in Eating Disorder Treatment Programs
Everyone who lives with an eating disorder like bulimia develops these disordered eating behaviors for a number of different reasons, often including one or more of the following:
- A need to experience control in life
- Body image issues and lack of self-esteem
If any of these issues are problematic for the patient, they should be addressed during the treatment program. Individual therapy, group therapy, and a wide range of holistic and alternative treatments can help patients to progress as they process through the mental and emotional obstacles to developing positive eating habits. If you would like to learn more about how we help patients heal through eating disorder treatment here at Futures, contact us today.